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Medication error may have caused nursing home death

When we place loved ones in a nursing home, friends and family expect that the facility and its staff will provide quality care to the fullest extent. Yet, nursing homes are not immune to accidents, neglect and medical malpractice. Patients may fall victim to preventable slip and falls, unnecessary bed sores and medication errors.

These incidents know no borders. So, Miami, Florida, residents should be aware of nursing home neglect and medical malpractice occurrences across the country that can illustrate when patients are improperly treated. One of these tragic events happened recently in Minnesota.

Due to an apparent transcription error, personnel at the nursing home failed to give a resident one drug for three days and failed to administer another drug altogether. After missing both medications for three days and being found without a pulse, the resident was hospitalized and later died from pneumonia and pulmonary disease.

The nursing home has since retrained its staff in medication transcriptions, but the staff was not penalized.

When unwarranted pain, injury or death is incurred on a nursing home patient, relatives may recover compensation to cover further medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. If death is the ultimate result, they may consider a wrongful death claim.

Compensation may not make a victim of nursing home neglect whole again. Yet, it can go a long way to moving life to a better place where undeserved medical bills are not overwhelming and pain and suffering can be eased.

Medical personnel, including those who work at nursing homes, have a duty to give the utmost care to their residents. When that duty fails, the results can be tragic. Miami residents should keep their eyes open to signs of neglect so that they can hopefully stop it before any damage is done.

Source: Star Tribune, “Red Wing nursing home error led to missed meds,” Paul Walsh, April 11, 2012

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