Failing to administer medications to elderly patients can have dangerous, potentially deadly consequences and nursing homes can be held liable for the injuries or deaths their negligence causes. When caregivers neglect to administer patient medications, they leave patients susceptible to a variety of complications including the formation of blood clots, the development of antibiotic resistance, unregulated blood sugars and blood pressures and more. In some cases, all it takes is one missed dose to start a deadly chain reaction that results in the patient's death.
The Importance of Adhering to Schedules
Many elderly patients are required to take blood thinners, anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, and other medications as part of a structured treatment regimen. These medications help regulate everything from blood flow to muscle function and it is imperative that the patient maintain the prescribed level of medication within their system. When a dose is missed, the level of medication circulating within the patient's body drops and the patient become susceptible to heart attacks, strokes and other, potentially deadly conditions. In many cases, this complicates the patient's treatment and can cause serious pain, discomfort, and inconvenience to the patient.
Nursing Home Duty of Care
Nursing home facilities are responsible for ensuring patients receive their medication in a timely manner. Miscommunication, understaffing, negligent training procedures, malfeasance, and other factors can cause caregivers to "forget" to give a patient medication. Nursing staffs are required to have the necessary skills and training to properly administer the medication and record the dosages that were taken, when they were taken, etc. Caregivers who fail to properly administer and record this pertinent information can cause grievous harm to patients that may result in declining health and premature death. Further, caregivers have a responsibility to take proper corrective measures when it becomes known that a patient has missed their required prescriptions.
While failure to administer medications can have deadly consequences in and of itself, it can also lead to secondary problems. For example, a patient misses a medication, has a stroke, and later falls and dies as a result of a slip and fall accident they wouldn't have had if they had not suffered a stroke. Nursing home neglect lawyers can pursue compensation for such claims because the negligence of the nursing care provider contributed to causing the patient's death.