Common Medication Errors in Nursing Homes

August 12, 2015 | Thomas L. Stroble
Common Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
Womans Hands Holding Heap Of White Round Pills And Glass Of Wate

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.4 million individuals1 in the United States reside in nursing homes or similar long-term care facilities. Because many of these nursing home residents are elderly and may have multiple health problems, the large majority of residents have at least one prescription for medication—if not many prescriptions. In a typical nursing home, thousands of pills may be administered each and every day. Though this makes it easy to make a mistake regarding an individual's medication, nursing homes are held to a strict duty of care2 and staff should always act with this requisite level of care to prevent medical mistakes, including medication errors.

Unfortunately, medication errors do happen due to the negligence of nursing homes on a daily basis. The following are only some examples of negligent medication errors that may occur:

  • Prescriptions issued by nursing home doctors for the incorrect type or dose of medication
  • The nursing home pharmacy filling the wrong prescription
  • Failing to check for allergies or possible adverse interactions with other medications
  • Giving the resident the incorrect type of medication
  • Giving too high of a dose or too low of a dose
  • Omitting a necessary dose
  • Giving medication at the incorrect duration or rate
  • Failing to properly document administration of medication, which can lead to multiple doses
  • Giving expired or outdated medication
  • Borrowing medication from another resident due to inadequate planning
  • Purposefully withholding medication or overdosing a resident (form of nursing home abuse)
  • Staff stealing medication from residents

All of the above can cause serious health complications and even death in the residents of nursing homes.

Medication errors often occur due to nursing home under-staffing or hiring of unqualified individuals who do not take the necessary care required when handling medication. Additionally, some nursing homes fail to have clear-cut procedures for the proper administration of medication or fail to provide adequate training to all staff members on these procedures. Finally, errors involving medication can result from the failure of nursing homes to properly monitor the actions of their staff and identify and address mistakes. Nursing homes can be held accountable for these acts of negligence and often for the acts of negligence of their staff if the victim of the error suffered an injury as a result.

Find out how a Michigan nursing home negligence attorney can assist you today

If you or a loved one has sustained unnecessary and preventable injuries or complications because a nursing home administered medication incorrectly or acted in any other type of negligent manner, your first call should be to Michigan Injury lawyers to discuss a possible legal claim. Our Michigan nursing home negligence lawyers believe that nursing homes should be held fully accountable for all forms of negligence and our goal is to help injured victims receive the full amount of compensation necessary to cover their losses. Consultations are always free, so please call today at 888-454-0801 for help.



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Thomas L. Stroble


Mr. Stroble is a highly accomplished graduate of Michigan State University, with degrees in both science and law. He specializes in commercial lawsuits and personal injury cases. Licensed to practice law in Michigan and even the U.S. Supreme Court, he’s a well-qualified legal expert. Besides his career in law, he loves outdoor activities and volunteers as a part-time police officer in Birmingham.

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