With the aging of the baby boomer generation, the United States has a large and growing population of the elderly, including those living out their final years in nursing home facilities. Because nursing home residents almost always have multiple medical conditions and often a degree of cognitive impairment, dementia, or aphasia, they are extremely vulnerable to nursing home abuse and neglect, including dangerous medication errors. With seniors in a nursing home taking an average of 8 daily medications, this vulnerable population is at greater risk of potential harm. One study revealed that 2/3rds of the 256 nursing home residents in the study had suffered one or more medication errors.

Understanding Nursing Home Medication Errors

While no medication error seems acceptable when it happens to a loved one, most states have an “acceptable” medication error rate of no more than 5% in nursing homes. The medical profession defines medication errors as any preventable error leading to or causing patient harm or inappropriate medication use while the medication is in the control of the healthcare provider, a patient, or a consumer.

Medication errors in nursing homes are the administration of medications that don’t adhere to the doctor’s orders or the pharmacological instructions of the manufacturer.

Most nursing homes use a method of medication administration to patients called a “med pass” during which a nurse or a caregiver supervised by a nurse, delivers prescribed medications to patients on a cart that passes down the hallways from room to room on a set schedule. This process involves pre-organizing the medications, administering them, and documenting the process. Then, proper monitoring should take place to ensure the senior takes the medication properly. A medication error may occur at any stage of this med pass procedure. Studies show that errors most commonly occur during the ordering and monitoring stages.

Examples of Nursing Home Medication Mistakes

Medication errors in nursing homes often go unreported, meaning it’s likely they occur more often than we know. Some common medication mistakes in nursing homes include:

  • Improperly preparing patient medications
  • Failure to monitor the patient while they take the medication
  • Administering an improper dosage
  • Administering medication without reviewing the contraindications or side effects
  • Not administering medications on time
  • Cutting pills that are not safe to split
  • Allowing patients to swallow medications meant to melt under the tongue
  • Failure to ensure an IV is working properly
  • Failing to mix or shake a medication

Dangers of Medication Errors

Not only can medication errors cause direct harm to the patient, but these mistakes may also cause dizziness and other symptoms that result in a nursing home resident falling and experiencing a serious injury such as a fracture.

Some antipsychotic medications used to treat dementia patients may cause strokes or heart attacks when administered to the incorrect patient or in incorrect dosages to the proper patient.

When a nursing home facility exceeds the acceptable number of medication errors it’s a form of elder abuse. A medically vulnerable senior may experience harmful symptoms, worsened medical conditions, dangerous side effects, or even death.

Loved ones should report any known medication errors to a nursing home resident as soon as possible. You may have a case for nursing home abuse.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


Contact Us Today

We offer a free initial consultation at our office in the Manchin Professional Building — our home since 1983 — conveniently located in Fairmont.

If you are unable to visit our firm, we can come to your home or hospital room.

Fill out the form below to get in touch!

100% privacy guarantee