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Nursing home deaths, injuries linked to medicine errors

It is one of the dirty little secrets of nursing home life - scores of Illinois residents are sickened each year because of medication errors. Some of these patients even die as a result of this type of nursing home neglect. Consider the case of an 81-year-old Midwestern man who was slated to stay only a few days in a rehab center after a heart treatment. The man entered the facility in fine health, only to leave in a diabetic coma. Why? No one at the nursing home had bothered to notice that he had diabetes. It was left untreated for days. Even though the hospital had saved the man's life through the heart treatment, the negligent nursing home had ended it.

Sadly, such errors are far more common than patients and family members might think. One Midwestern state estimates that more than 140 significant medication errors were caught by investigators during the past three years. Imagine how many more went undetected. One woman went blind because she was not given her eye drops. A man suffered a massive allergic reaction because he was given penicillin. Another woman died because she was given her roommate's diabetes medication. The stories feature different people and conditions, but they have the same theme: nursing home neglect.

The 81-year-old victim's family is seeking compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit they have filed against the nursing home they say killed their relative. Attorneys and medical professionals alike agree that in most of the cases described a physician or nurse should have easily caught the fact that medication was missed or improperly administered.

Victims do not have to suffer through these tragedies in silence. Legal professionals are available to help relatives and victims get the money they need and deserve after an incident of severe nursing home neglect.

Source: WXYZ.com, "Prescription for danger: Medication errors inside nursing homes lead to hospitalization," death Ross Jones, Nov. 13, 2013

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