Nursing homes are responsible for providing care for over a million elderly patients throughout the U.S., and about 40,000 people in Massachusetts. While anyone who chooses a nursing home has an expectation that the nursing home will provide a high level of care, staff and funding shortages often result in care that is far below expectations, or even negligent or neglectful. Tragically, there are countless medical errors made in Massachusetts nursing homes every year, some of which have serious consequences for patients. Here’s an overview of some of the most common types of nursing home medical errors—for more information or to learn more about bringing forth a civil suit for damages, call our nursing home neglect and abuse attorney at Tetzel Law, LLC directly.

Medication Errors

Medication errors are a leading type of medical error in nursing homes, far more common than most people realize. Examples of medication errors include dosage errors (giving too much or too little of a medication), administration errors, prescription errors—for example, giving the wrong medication or the wrong strength of medication, medication mix-up and combination errors, medication documentation errors, and failure to monitor a patient after the patient receives the medication. Improper use of behavior-modifying medication is also a problem in nursing homes. 

Substandard Care

Substandard medical care refers to a range of neglectful behaviors that can lead to a resident’s harm. Examples of substandard care found in a nursing home include:

  • Failing to properly monitor a patient, especially after the patient undergoes a medical procedure or receives certain medications
  • Failing to move a bed-ridden patient frequently in order to prevent bedsores
  • Misdiagnosing a patient or failing to diagnose a patient
  • Committing surgical errors or surgical follow-up errors
  • Failing to properly treat a patient diagnosed with a certain medical condition

Substandard care can refer to a broad range of behaviors, and is a term that’s inclusive of any medical act (or inaction) that falls below the standard of care that a nurse or doctor of similar background or training would reasonably perform in the same situation. 

Infections

Finally, infections are a medical error to watch out for in nursing homes. Commonly reported infections in nursing homes include urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, skin and soft tissue infections, gastroenteritis, and influenza. Most infections in nursing homes could be prevented with increased sanitation, cleaning, and disinfection; hand hygiene practices; the use of PPE in nursing homes; and increased patient care and attention—for example, infections from bedsores are highly preventable when a patient is not neglected. 

Call Tetzel Law, LLC Today if You’re Loved One’s Been Impacted

If your loved one has been the victim of improper medical care and neglect within a nursing home, you may have a cause of action for a nursing home civil claim. To learn more about your rights, damages recoverable, and how to hold a nursing home liable for harm, reach out to our Massachusetts nursing home neglect law firm directly by phone or online at your convenience. Our lawyer is here for you.