Research has shown that despite medication mishaps, which are fairly common in nursing homes, there have been few serious impacts on residents, although it is unclear if this is because severe consequences of incorrect medication are truly infrequent or if the data is incorrect due to underreporting of erroneously dispersed medications.
According to a review of the research, general medication errors are exceedingly common and involve 16 percent to 27 percent of nursing home residents. Transfer-related errors affect 13 to 31 percent of residents. In addition to mistakes resulting directly from their day to day delivery within nursing homes, as much as 75 percent of residents have at some point been prescribed a medication deemed as potentially unsuitable for them.
Medication errors can cause a significant amount of harm. A nursing home in which staff regularly seem disinterested in keeping adequate logs, keeping up with prescription changes, or adhering to strict standards is one that should be avoided.
What can you do to avoid the potential consequences of medication errors in a nursing home? Be aware of the symptoms of a lack of medication as well as overdose. Also, be on the lookout for odd or unusual symptoms that may have come from the wrong medication. Remember, even if a medication is administered correctly, adverse effects can still occur. So, even if a nursing home has an excellent history of medication monitoring or dispersal, you should still be on the lookout for possible effects.
If you are a nursing home resident and notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention. If you are a family member, regularly check in with the resident to make sure they are feeling and behaving normally. Calling, emailing, or visiting to check in can also be a great opportunity to keep and touch and make sure that your family member knows that they are cared for and in your thoughts.
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