Many families in Connecticut have to face the difficult decision on how to best care for an elderly or ill family member. Several make the choice to move the person into a nursing home facility. These families trust that in doing so, their beloved family member will receive the best care possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. An out-of-state nursing home was recently accused of a medication error that cost a man his life.
The family of the deceased man say that they admitted him to the nursing home after he had a stroke and heart attack. He developed cancer while at the facility, but responded well to treatment. Several months afterwards, the family noticed that he was deteriorating. They then discovered the nursing home had not been administering the much-needed cancer medication for almost a year. The man ended up dying; however, his family is convinced that he would have lived much longer had the nursing home taken proper care of him.
Officials from this same state say that errors similar to this have been tied to an amputation and to the death of at least one other person. They believe that many of these medication errors in nursing homes can occur because of illegible handwriting, insufficient education of nurses or from a disruption during the time the medicine is distributed. Those in charge are taking efforts to reduce errors, but they emphasize that the system will never be perfect.
The man who passed away has had a lawsuit filed on his behalf by his family. If a Connecticut family finds themselves in a similar situation, it may be in their best interest to pursue a civil claim. A successful wrongful death claim could result in financial compensation that could be used to help cover medical bills, funeral expenses and the pain and suffering of the survivors. Hopefully, no one else will have to lose their life to a medication error.
Source: nbcchicago.com, Nursing Home Medication Errors Leading to Hospitalizations, Chris Coffey, Feb. 4, 2014