Medication Errors at Iowa Nursing Home Linked to Woman’s Kidney Injury

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on July 2, 2024 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights

stock image of a spilled prescription bottleNursing homes owe residents a legal duty to provide care that meets acceptable standards in the medical community. Despite these standards, however, long-term care facilities and their staff often make serious errors that can severely risk residents’ well-being.

At PKSD, we have a deep commitment to protecting the injured in nursing homes. When we hear about residents that have been injured because of nursing home negligence, we want to help. In these types of cases, victims and their families may be able to recover compensation for their medical costs and other losses.

Contact our trusted law firm to request a free consultation today. This meeting is risk-free and confidential. If we find you have a case, we have the staff and resources to help you hold the responsible nursing home liable.

Request a FREE case review today. 414-333-3333

Medication Error in Iowa Linked to Kidney Injury of a Female Resident

Medication errors happen far more often than they should. Most recently, an Iowa nursing home was fined for improperly administering medication to one of its residents.

According to a recent news article, the mistake happened in early March at Prairie Gate nursing home, a 32-bed facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa. State inspectors say the cardiologist of a female resident at the facility prescribed a two-milligram dose of Bumetanide twice daily for three days. After those first three days, staff were then supposed to reduce the dosage to a single two-milligram dose per day.

There were multiple errors in treating this female resident, including:

  • The facility failed to start the order as prescribed – the resident did not receive her prescription for March 10-15.
  • Instead of administering a two-milligram dose once per day, as per the prescription, the female resident was given that dosage twice daily – that is two times the amount she was prescribed.
  • The error continued for a full two months.

In all, inspectors say that the woman received the incorrect dosage of five milligrams instead of the three milligrams she was prescribed for approximately 58 days.

A Staff Nurse Tells Inspectors the Error Could Cause Kidney Injuries

A nurse who works at the cardiologist’s office reportedly told inspectors that this error could cause “acute kidney injury.” Yet despite this risk, the facility never questioned the medication order.

What Kind of Medication Errors Happen in Nursing Homes?

Medication errors in nursing homes occur in many different ways. These errors can involve:

  • Giving the Incorrect Dosage: Administering too much or too little medication to a patient can have serious or even fatal outcomes, depending on the medication and amount given.
  • Administering the Wrong Medication: Giving a patient the wrong medication can also lead to serious outcomes.
  • Missed Doses: Staffing shortages may result in staff failing to give residents a prescribed dose.
  • Timing Errors: Giving residents their medication at the wrong time.
  • Improper Administration Errors: Incorrectly administering medication (e.g., oral instead of intravenous).
  • Documentation Errors: Failing to accurately record a patient’s medication administration, which could sometimes lead to residents getting more than one dose too close together.

These mistakes can cause adverse reactions, worsening medical conditions and even death.

Can You Hold Nursing Homes Liable for Medication Errors?

Yes, nursing homes can be held liable for medication errors. If a medication error leads to harm, residents or their families may pursue legal action. Nursing homes can be liable for:

  • Negligence: Failing to meet the standard of care in administering medication.
  • Staff Errors: Mistakes made by nurses, doctors or other staff members.
  • Inadequate Training: Not properly training staff on medication administration.
  • Poor Communication: Failing to effectively communicate medication orders.
  • Inadequate Policies: Lacking or not following proper medication administration protocols.

Fines Assessed Against Prairie Gate

The female resident who suffered the kidney injury was discharged from Prairie Gate on May 28. The state proposed a fine of $8,000. However, that amount has been suspended.

Prairie Gate currently holds a one-star rating on the federal Care Compare website. It is owned by the nonprofit Presbyterian Homes & Services.

Need Legal Help for an Injured Nursing Home Resident?

Families of residents injured due to medication errors may be able to seek compensation for damages, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering.

We strongly recommend seeking legal help from an experienced attorney.

At PKSD, we have an experienced team of nursing home abuse attorneys, and we have the staff and resources to help you.

Find out if you may have a case by requesting a free case review. There is no obligation to file a claim, but if you do, our trusted legal team will be with you every step of the way.

PKSD accepts cases in Wisconsin, Iowa and New Mexico. Call 414-333-3333 today.

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