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Overdoses in assisted living facilities

Overdoses in assisted living facilities

Date: March 06, 2014

The careless treatment of nursing home residents in Illinois has sparked another case of malpractice against a care facility in Glen Carbon. The subject of the latest case regarding nursing home abuse was the misadministration of prescription medications, specifically an improper dosage of oxycodone.

A resident of the Eden Village center in the town of Glen Carbon died of respiratory failure brought on by an overdose of oxycodone in May 2012. The man’s widow charged the facility with negligence in failing to report his poor health to his doctor. The complaint also charged that Eden Village failed to implement written policies on drug administration and did not have enough staff to properly care for its residents. She wants a judgment of at least $100,000, which is not including attorney fees and other expenses the court deems fair.

A family that places a loved one in an assisted living facility has a reasonable expectation that the facility will properly care for the resident. Written policies on medication are standard in most facilities, and staff training in the use of prescription drugs is also commonplace. Unfortunately, staff shortages, cost-cutting and carelessness can jeopardize the health of residents; improperly dispensing medication and failing to monitor reactions to prescription drugs can also be especially dangerous to residents who are already in poor health.

Medication error can bring about sickness and life-threatening reactions on the part of patients. Even if a nursing home can show that drugs were administered according to a doctor’s prescription, the facility still has the responsibility to carefully monitor residents and notify doctors of any adverse reactions. When this basic standard of care is not met, the family of a decedent has recourse to seek damages.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, “Eden Retirement Center blamed for oxycodone overdose“, February 28, 2014

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