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Nursing home medication errors lead to decertification

Medication is a powerful tool doctors can use to treat medical conditions. Proper dosages can lessen symptoms, ease pain, and even completely remedy some illnesses. On the other hand, medication errors can be fatal or leave a victim with serious, long-term injuries. These errors can occur as a result of poor communication, failed medication transcription, inattentiveness, or understaffing. In any case, medication errors are unacceptable, as evidenced by one nursing home's decertification.

A nursing home is losing its certification after dozens of reported cases of wrong medication dosing. According to official reports, in many instances, severely needed medication was delayed, not given, or never ordered even though employees were directed to do so by physicians. Some of the errors include administering what was supposed to be a one-time dose as a daily dose given for 23 days, giving a patient 28 units of penicillin when only three units were ordered, and giving powerful antibiotic once every seven days instead of every day for seven days.

When one falls victim to a nursing home medication error, medical malpractice has occurred that can leave victims severely harmed or dead. These patients may face a long physical and emotional recovery that may never make them whole again. Additionally, victims and their families will have to pay for the additional medical care to heal them of the mistake's effects.

Fortunately, legal action can help victims and their families ease some of these burdens. To obtain compensation for her damages, a victim must prove medical malpractice took place. The elements that must be satisfied are the doctor or institution owed the patient a duty of care, that duty was breached, and the victim's injuries resulted from the breach.

Once these aspects are proven, a victim can recover for medical expenses and pain and suffering. Then, victims and their families can focus on recovering and moving on with life. Additionally, these lawsuits put medical professionals on notice that negligence and hospital medication errors will not be tolerated.

Source: The Tennessean, "Madison nursing home gave patients wrong doses time and again," Walter F. Roche Jr., Feb. 26, 2013

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