We have focused a major portion of our law practice on helping the victims of prescription errors and also on nursing home negligence. Sometimes there are medication errors occurring inside nursing homes and other care facilities, and the friends and families of the victims don’t know where to turn. We’ll start with some facts:
• State and Federal laws actually consider a percentage of prescription medication errors to be “acceptable” and even though nursing homes and other care facilities are inspected regularly, little is done when mistakes exceed the allowed level.
• Often, mistakes are self-reported, so it’s not known if every error is making it into the records.
• Most people are not aware that information about care facilities is available online, and ratings and inspection reports are available for review.
• People are also unaware of the warning signs for prescription-related sicknesses and injuries and how to look for them.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration recently issued this statement:
In addition to the requirement that nursing homes shall not have medication errors of 5% or greater, each nursing home must provide pharmaceutical services to ensure accurate administration of medications. This includes the participation of a pharmacist consultant who helps develops and monitors processes within the facility to ensure resident do receive the correct medications.
We believe 0% is an acceptable number of medication errors because of the serious harm that a patient may experience if given the wrong medication, or an over-dose, or medication is not administered at all.
Warning Signs: If you have a loved one currently in a care facility in Florida, it would be a good idea when you visit to ask questions about the dispensing of drugs. Ask about the procedures for giving drugs to patients and how the records are kept. Watch for changes in the patient with regard to their alertness, energy level, skin color, and balance. If there is a sudden change in any physical characteristic at all, ask questions. Also, look into their eyes when you visit and watch for any changes. Dilated or constricted pupils can be a sign something is wrong. We’re not suggesting you do the job of a doctor, but try to be aware of anything unusual.
Also, there is a website that offers details about all the health care facilities in Florida, as well as information on doctors. Please click here to find information on facilities, and click here to verify the license of an individual doctor, nurse, or other health care professional.
Doctors, pharmacies, and pharmacists make mistakes. When they do it can cause serious injury, pain, and suffering. Victims have rights, and they can take action to be compensated for the mistakes made by others. If you have questions, we’re here to help. Call us at 954-356-0006.