Overdoses in Nursing Homes
Protecting Victims of Negligence in Nursing Facilities
One of the most important aspects of quality care in nursing homes is the proper administration of medications. Nursing home staffs are responsible for ensuring that all residents receive the correct medications and the proper doses. However, when nursing homes suffer from understaffing or poor staff training, medication mistakes can occur. Negligence in nursing homes can lead to residents being over-medicated, as well as residents receiving the wrong medication entirely. Sadly, this can and does lead to life-threatening overdoses.
Smith Clinesmith LLP is devoted to stopping this form of nursing home negligence by aggressively pursuing nursing home overdose cases. Our Dallas nursing home abuse attorneys have extensive experience litigating cases involving medication errors and overdoses in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. We work with a team of medical experts, nurses, and other professionals who help us investigate claims and prove negligence on the part of nursing home staffs and administrations. If you believe your elderly loved one suffered an overdose due to nursing home negligence, reach out to our team today to learn how we can help. We have offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago and serve clients nationwide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the average nursing home resident takes seven to eight different medications a month to maintain their health. Even though federal guidelines are in place to regulate the process of dispensing this medication, many nursing home residents receive the wrong medication or the wrong dose each year.
When one resident receives medication that was really intended for another resident, both residents end up suffering from the nursing home staff’s negligence. When a resident receives the wrong medication, dangerous drug interactions and side effects can occur, causing serious health problems and possibly even leading to an early death. If the nursing home staff is overwhelmed due to understaffing or poor training, medications can get mixed up and dispensed improperly.
Usually, when residents’ medications get mixed up, it is the result of an unintentional mistake by nursing home staff. However, this is still considered a form of negligence, as the nursing home is liable for providing proper care to its residents.
Sometimes, even when the right medication is dispensed, the wrong dosage is given. This can lead to overmedicating the resident and/or an overdose with serious repercussions.
Signs of an overdose include:
- Erratic or unexplained changes in behavior
- Unusual reclusive action towards loved ones
- Unusual fatigue or exhaustion
- Oversleeping or hyperactivity
- New complications or physical symptoms
- Easily confused or disoriented
Note that these are just some of the signs of an overdose; if you notice unusual changes in your loved one’s mood or behavior, or any unexpected physical changes, it could be a sign of over-medication or an overdose.
What to Do If You Think Your Elderly Loved One Suffered an Overdose
If you believe your elderly loved one may be suffering from over-medication in a nursing home or similar facility, talk to his or her doctor and/or bring up your concerns to the nursing home staff or administration right away. Ignoring signs of a potential overdose can have serious consequences.
If you suspect your loved one is being over-medicated in his or her nursing home facility, take the following steps:
- Try to visit during the time when medications are dispensed
- Ask to see a log of the drugs given to your loved one
- Have a doctor run tests to determine any complications
- Raise your concerns with the nursing home administrator
- Talk to your loved one’s doctor about all of the medications they are taking
After you have determined that your loved one is currently suffering from over-medication or has suffered an overdose in his or her nursing home, contact a nursing home overdose lawyer and find out more about your legal rights. The Dallas nursing home abuse lawyers at the Smith Clinesmith LLP have extensive experience helping residents of nursing homes fight negligence and abuse.
Legal Help for Nursing Home Negligence
Many instances of nursing home abuse and negligence go unreported; it is crucial that you remember that, as the loved one of an elderly person, you are their voice. At the Smith Clinesmith LLP, we are well-versed in the various forms of nursing home negligence and abuse, including medication errors and overdoses, and we are dedicated to helping the victims find justice. If you believe a loved one is receiving the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication in their nursing home, contact us and explore your legal options.
To speak with an experienced overdose attorney in Dallas, Chicago, or Los Angeles about your loved one's case, call the Smith Clinesmith LLP at (877) 976-8411.