Patients Suffer from Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
Putting a loved one in a nursing home in Ohio is a difficult decision to make. When you do, you expect the care he or she is receiving to be the best. In cases involving nursing home medication errors, a simple error could cost your loved one his or her life or leave this person in pain.
A March 11 report makes it clear just how many medical errors take place. According to a study by Medicare’s inspector general, close to 22,000 patients were hurt and over 1,500 patients died in just one month in an investigation of skilled nursing facilities. What was the cause? One-in-three patients was injured or killed due to infections, harm related to treatment, or medication errors.
Doctors indicated that 59 percent of those errors and injuries were completely preventable. That’s more than 11,750 patients with injuries or patients who died due to errors that could have potentially been avoided. Even worse is the fact that over half of those patients had to be sent back to the hospital for readmission, which is unpleasant for patients and families. This kind of error was estimated to cost $208 million; that’s just in the month they studied.
There was a report released in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspector general that showed that around 180,000 patients die each year due to poor hospital care. This is a low estimate, according to the report. The doctors studying 653 random Medicare patients around 600 facilities discovered that 22 percent of patients were suffering from events leaving them with lasting harm. Additionally, 1.5 percent of cases resulted in the patient dying, and that was suspected to be from poor care.
In some cases, the deaths included problems like preventable blood clots, excessive bleeding, kidney failure, inadequate monitoring, and other issues. When the study is projected nationally, you can see that around 21,777 patients are hurt and 1,538 patients die due to substandard nursing care.