We came across an article on a British news web-site, Mail Online, which detailed a study by the British Department of Health which examined prescription errors in nursing homes. The study found that half of all nursing home and care home residents had been the victims of prescription mistakes.
The study looked at 55 residential and nursing homes for two and a half years. Researchers found that a typical nursing home resident takes between seven and eight medications. They found that minor errors some times had a ripple effect with one error compounding by others.
Medication errors were made by nursing home staff, pharmacists and physicians. Common mistakes for physicians to make was prescribing the wrong medication or not taking into account the potential interaction of one medication with other medications a patient was taking.
Transcription errors were also causes of mistakes. One patient in the study died after he received a massive morphine overdose after a faxed prescription had a missing decimal point. Another nursing home patient was given 10 times the correct dose of a blood thinning medication and the error was only discovered after the patient began bleeding profusely.
Medication errors can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit if a patient was severely injured or died. If you or a loved one has had this happen to you, you might want to contact a personal injury attorney for a case consultation. The Farber Law Group has more than 30 years experience representing medical malpractice victims and people who have been injured in nursing homes.