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Medication errors cause nursing home neglect cases in Illinois


Cases of nursing home abuse may stem from elder abuse, bedsores, medication errors and malnutrition. In fact, a recent report indicated that medication errors in Illinois's nursing homes have resulted in hospitalizations for residents. Unfortunately, there are also cases of Chicago nursing home neglect due to fatal medication error.

According to sources, there have been 384 nursing home-related medication errors since 2011. The Illinois Department of Public Health data revealed that one resident's infection led to an amputation and two residents of care facilities died after medication errors were documented. For example, in 2005, an Illinois family moved their brother into The Renaissance Park South nursing home, thinking that doing so would be good for him.

Two years later, however, their loved one was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer and he was prescribed a cancer medication called Gleevac. However, the man's condition deteriorated later and the family found out that the staff of Renaissance Park South failed to give the patient his required cancer medication for almost one year. The nursing home also failed to bring the patient back to his oncologists for follow up appointments. His cancer spread throughout his body and the patient eventually died. The family filed a lawsuit and reached a settlement with the Illinois nursing home facility.

A medication error can range from being given the wrong dosage to overdoses or the nursing staff's failure to provide the daily medication. Considering that medication is vital for the health of many elderly people, a simple medication error could lead to complications or even the untimely death of a resident.

In Illinois, medication errors in nursing homes violate the safety standards implemented by the state for such facilities. Incidence of wrong medication or overdoses can lead to the revocation of a facility's license. The nursing home facility can be held legally responsible for the patient's death or for any complications suffered by the resident.

Source: NBC Chicago, "Nursing Home Medication Errors Leading to Hospitalizations," Chris Coffey, Feb. 4, 2014

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