Wadena Nursing Home Medication Error Leads to Death

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 7th March 2010
Medication Errors and Other Preventable Neglect - Nursing Home Medication Error

Medication Errors and Other Preventable Neglect – Nursing Home Medication Error

Wadena Nursing Home Medication Error

Wadena Nursing Home Medication Error – there was a story this week in the Star & Tribune titled: Drug errors led to patient’s death in Wadena nursing home.

A central Minnesota nursing home committed serious medication mistakes three times within 16 days last year causing the death of one of them according to state investigators. Apparently the “significant medication errors”at Fair Oaks Lodge in Wadena indicated a systems failure at the facility, prompting state Health Department investigators to place blame with the home. State investigators observed a medication rate of 18 percent during one evening’s staff rounds.

The story states that deaths from medication errors are rare in nursing homes. In 2008 records show that there were 253 allegations of medication errors up from 199 the year before.

According to the story an 82-year-old resident of the nursing home who was suffering from Alzheimers died after he was negligently given three medications on one day. The medication caused the resident’s blood pressure to drop and eventually she became unresponsive and was taken by ambulance to an emergency room and then passed away form pneumonia. There were other improperly medicated residents also taken the emergency room.

For the rest of the story see: Drug errors led to patient’s death in Wadena nursing home.

Nursing Homes MUST Ensure that Residents are Free of any Significant Medication Errors. (42 CFR § 483.25 (m)) and Minnesota Rule 4658.1320.

42 CFR § 483.1320 (m) Medication Errors. The facility must ensure that—

(1) It is free of medication error rates of five percent or greater; and

(2) Residents are free of any significant medication errors.

Minnesota Regulation 4658.1320 Nursing Home Medication Error

A nursing home must ensure that: A. Its medication error rate is less than five percent as described in the Interpretive Guidelines for Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 483.25(m), found in Appendix P of the State Operations Manual, Guidance to Surveyors for Long-Term Care Facilities, which is incorporated by reference in part 4658.1315. For purposes of this part, a medication error means:

(1) a discrepancy between what was prescribed and what medications are actually administered to residents in the nursing home; or

(2) the administration of expired medications.

B. It is free of any significant medication error. A significant medication error is:

(1) an error which causes the resident discomfort or jeopardizes the resident’s health or safety; or

(2) medication from a category that usually requires the medication in the resident’s blood to be titrated to a specific blood level and a single medication error could alter that level and precipitate a reoccurrence of symptoms or toxicity.

C. All medications are administered as prescribed. An incident report or medication error report must be filed for any medication error that occurs. Any significant medication errors or resident reactions must be reported to the physician or the physician’s designee and the resident or the resident’s legal guardian or designated representative and an explanation must be made in the resident’s clinical record.

Knowing that there should not have a medication rate above 5%, the 18% referenced by this story is shown to be grossly negligent. Medication errors usually occur when there is a shortage of well qualified and trained nursing home staff.

This website is not intended to provide legal advice as each situation is different and specific factual information must be obtained before an attorney is able to assess the legal questions relevant to your situation.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from neglect or abuse in a nursing home or other care facility that serves the elderly in Minnesota please contact our firm for a free consultation and information regarding the obligations of the facility and your rights as a resident or concerned family member. To contact Attorney Kenneth L. LaBore, directly please send an email to KlaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com or call Ken at 612-743-9048.

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Free Consultation on Issues of Elder Abuse and Neglect Serving all of Minnesota Toll Free 1-888-452-6589

Free Consultation on Issues of Elder Abuse and Neglect Serving all of Minnesota Toll Free 1-888-452-6589

 

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