What is a Medical Error?2017-04-18T14:51:03+00:00

A medical error can cause a lot of damage to your loved one in they are in a nursing home. When you put your loved one in a home, you should trust that they will get the care that they need without any problems. A common tragedy that occurs in a nursing home is a medical error. Depending on your loved ones condition, this could harm them in a big way. You do not want your loved one to go through this. Knowing what a medical error is can help you understand how to prevent them from happening to your loved one.

Definition

A medical error happens when a health care provider chooses an inappropriate care method. Or it happens when someone improperly executes an appropriate method of care. It is often described as a human error. Your loved one can be injured because the person caring for them did something wrong. Most medical errors happen because the caregiver is inexperienced. If they have not been doing their job for long, they might make mistakes. An experienced professional might not make these same mistakes. When choosing a home, you should find out about the experience levels of employees. They also can make an error if a new procedure is in place.

Reasons for Medical Errors

Like any other profession, an employee might need some time to adjust to a new way of doing something. This might cause them to make an error. This is still not acceptable because in the home, it could mean that they are putting a resident at risk.

Another reason for medical error in a nursing home is illegible handwriting. A doctor might prescribe something to a resident and hand it off to a nurse to take care of. But, if they can’t read what was written, they can give the resident the wrong thing. If you give someone the wrong medication, they can have side effects that can cause harm. The original problem could get worse without the proper medication. This is the most common type of medical error that occurs in nursing homes. All facilities must keep a medication record so they can keep track medication given. With this record, they should see where an error occurred. This will help you prove that your loved one was not given the correct medication or dosage.

Medication Errors

A medication error could also occur if the facilities are understaffed. If there are not enough people working, they can overlook some residents. If a resident doesn’t get their medications when needed, they could have serious problems. When a resident gets a prescription, they need to have it to keep their health under control. It is important to make sure that your loved one is getting what they need and when they need it.

In one case, a woman died in her nursing home due to a medical error. The facility was understaffed so she got forgotten about. She was on a blood thinning IV and no one was there to stop the flow of the medication at the proper time. She got too much of it into her blood and died of an overdose of the blood thinning drug Warfarin. Staff members in this home were known to shred the medical records to cover up what they did wrong. This happened over the course a period of mismanagement and staff shortages. Sadly, she fell victim to this situation.

Medical errors will cause your loved one a lot of damage that they should never have to endure. These errors are usually not caused on purpose. But, the caregivers sometimes make a mistake and an error happens. The result is not always death but sometimes it can come to that. Being sure the home that your loved one is in is well staffed and has proper training is important. It will help you fell more comfortable that your loved one is safe from a medical error.