Beware of Mismanaged Medications

The Daytona Beach Health and Rehabilitation Center has again been cited for a medication error, this time for a giving a patient double the medication he was supposed to take.  One of the Center’s previous citations was for giving a medication to the wrong resident.

Unfortunately, these kinds of mistakes are not limited to the Daytona Beach Health and Rehabilitation Center.  The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, for instance, have reported extraordinarily high rates of medication errors in nursing homes, the vast majority of which could be prevented with computerized tracking systems that most nursing homes cannot afford.

For this reason, it is crucial that nursing home residents and their loved ones be extra vigilant in identifying and preventing medication errors, and following through on all suspected cases of medication mismanagement.

Common medication errors

The following are regarded as the most common (and preventable) medication errors:

  • Wrong prescription.  Failing to take down a thorough patient medical history, including possible allergies, may make an otherwise effective drug into a harmful or even deadly poison. Patients must learn to be proactive with their doctors, and never hesitate to volunteer information that is not solicited.
  • Wrong drug—Flomax or Volmax. Alora or Aldara. Foltx or Folex. Mirapex or Miralax. Many drugs have similar names and confusion can be deadly. Even the most experienced physician or pharmacist can make a mistake. Similar looking bottles and illegible prescriptions hardly help matters.
  • Wrong dosage—Patients should always verify the dosage with their doctor and pharmacist to make sure that the prescription is correct and that the prescription bottle matches what was prescribed.
  • Wrong patient—Nursing homes and other facilities that house numerous people on a variety of medications should have safeguards in place to prevent medication mix-ups.
  • Miscommunication—The failure to convey important medical history, notes, records and other information has become increasingly common, particularly where a doctor is managing a high volume of patients and/or where the patient is seeing a variety of specialists. A diligent attorney will analyze every aspect of a patient’s case, including doctor-patient communication and correspondence between the medical professionals in charge of their care.

Attorneys able to handle complicated cases

Attorneys who handle medical malpractice claims must be experienced in identifying these issues, as well as handling complicated investigations, discovery and court procedures. They must also have in-depth knowledge of standard hospital and physician practice and know how to analyze medical records. Many specialized medical malpractice firms such as ours also have medical professionals on staff who provide invaluable services in this area.

There are strict deadlines for medical malpractice claims, so time is of the essence.  Contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect that you have a potential claim.

If you have any questions on this blog or need information on other personal injury queries, please call the Law offices of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath located in West Palm Beach at 1-800 4-RIGHTS  (1-800- 474-4487)  We welcome your call and look forward to helping you.