Transcription Error Leads to Nursing Home Resident’s Death

A recent news article details how a transcription error at a Minnesota Golden Living facility last fall left one of its residents without necessary medication for several days, culminating in death. The resident had a history of stroke and atrial fibrillation, which health care providers treated with long-term therapy with warfarin, a common anticoagulant medication. In transcribing the resident’s medication orders, an LPN made a mistake and placed the orders on another resident’s chart. This error, which remained unnoticed, caused the resident to go without warfarin for nine days, resulting in death from a large ischemic stroke and respiratory failure.

Medical providers did not discover the error until the hospital called the nursing home to check on lab results. The official causes of the error were the LPN’s failure to follow the nursing home’s transcription procedures, the facility’s failure to monitor nurses’ performance, and the facility’s failure to conduct annual medication competencies of the nurses. As a result of these errors, the facility immediately began working on a correction plan, with oversight from the state health department.

Unfortunately, this incident is hardly the only medication error made in a nursing home that resulted in death to a patient. In fact, earlier this year, a nursing home in northwest Minnesota reportedly administered more than 10 times the normal dosage of morphine to a resident, who died as a result. All too often, medication errors can lead to serious injuries or even death to the already medically fragile residents of nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. While facilities often immediately respond to correct their procedures after the fact, little is done to ensure that nursing homes be more proactive about preventing safety issues for residents, such as medication errors.

The Madison nursing home abuse attorneys of Boller & Vaughan pride themselves on advocating on behalf of clients who have been injured in some way, whether it be through medication errors, improper medical treatment, or another type of negligent incident. We can seek compensation for you through the legal claim process, while you and your family can concentrate on healing, recovering from any trauma that you might have experienced, and moving on with your life. Don’t hesitate to call our office today and learn how we can help.