Nursing Home Administers Incorrect Medicine to Patient

Michael Talve, CEO

Written by
— Updated on February 2, 2017

incorrect medicineThis case involves a nurse who switched the drugs of two patients which caused one of them to suffer a severe adverse reaction. One week prior to the incident, the nurse had been transferred to a nursing home and was assigned the task of administering medicine to the residents. The pharmacist on duty at the dispensary supplied the nurse with specific medication for each resident and instructed her to distribute the medication to the appropriate person. The plaintiff, an eighty-three-year-old man, was intended to receive aspirin and instead received an antipsychotic. Because of the incorrect medication, the plaintiff suffered a severe adverse reaction, and he required an extensive hospital stay to recover.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What procedural steps are in place in order to ensure that the correct drug is administered to the right resident?

Expert Witness Response

There are typically several procedural steps in place when it comes to administering medicine to residents. First, the pharmacist at the dispensary will check to make sure the correct drugs are going to the correct patients and then give them to the nurse who will be administering the medicine to the patients. Next, the nurse administering the medicine should double check to ensure that they have the correct medicine. In this case, because it was the nurse’s first week at a new job, she should have taken extra care and only delivered one patient’s medicine at a time. Precautions such as this would have prevented any confusion as to which set of pills were for which patient. In addition, both the pharmacist and the nurse should have labeled the medicine better to make it clear which set of pills were for which patient. This is critical in nursing homes, as care is designed to be individualized for each resident.

Contact this expert witness

Find a Hospital Expert Witness Near You

What State is your case in?

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY