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Identifying types of nursing home medication errors

When you move your elderly loved one into a Maryland nursing care facility, you hope that he or she will be given the proper medical attention. In addition to being fed and bathed regularly, most nursing home residents require a strict medication regimen. At Wilson & Parlett, we know that when nursing home residents do not receive their medication properly, it can cause serious issues that may have life-threatening consequences. Residents could experience malnutrition, organ failure, high blood pressure, blood clots, reduced immune response and other unexpected medical complications from not taking their medication.

Not only must the medication be given to the right person at the right time, but some drugs have certain dosing requirements that must be followed to ensure that the medication is effective. Furthermore, medication that is given one way to younger adults often has different administration techniques for elderly patients. Factors that can cause a problem include the following:

  •          Some prescription medication should not be given with antacids or multivitamins, as these substances can alter the absorption rate of the drug.
  •          Certain medicines should be shaken well or mixed just prior to administering the medication to ensure that the drug is properly distributed throughout the liquid.
  •          A medication is under dosed, over dosed or a dosage is missed altogether.
  •          A medication is given at the wrong time.
  •          Taking medication from one resident to give to another resident.

Although medication must be administered by a registered nurse, some homes give these duties to less qualified assistants that may not know the proper administration methods.

For more information on nursing home medication errors, visit our page on nursing home negligence.


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