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New York nursing home plagued with drug errors

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never easy. But that decision is made easier if families can go to sleep at night knowing that the facility is providing the kind of care and treatment that they could never provide at home, including management of medications. This is why it is so difficult to hear instances of nursing facilities and staff members making medication errors and failing to provide that standard of care.

One administrator of a New York nursing home is out of a job following a recent Department of Health survey. The survey found a number of mistakes in patient care, but mainly in the form of medication errors. After sampling 13 patients over the course of many days, the survey discovered repeated medication and clinical errors that had been going on for months.

Examples of the problems included a schizophrenic patient who was overmedicated with narcotics for more than a month and a failure to give cardiac medicine to a patient with a heart problem. Fentanyl patches, a commonly abused narcotic, also turned up missing at the facility.

It is critical for families and friends of patients to pay close attention to the medication given to their loved ones and the treatment received. If there is any concern about drug errors or overdose, someone at the facility should be notified. If a patient suffers or is injured because of a medication mistake, the patient should be able to recover money for damages. Not only can legal action bring about awareness of the problem, but compensation can help pay for medical bills or expenses and bring justice to those harmed.

Source: Post Star, "Sources: Administrator out at Pines nursing home after critical inspection," Jon Alexander, Aug. 31, 2012

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