Medical Errors in Assisted Living Facilities

U-T San Diego published a disturbing story about the prevalence of medical errors in California’s assisted living centers. While the story was based exclusively on those California facilities, one can only wonder the state of such facilities in the Granite State and around New England. According to the five page article, much of the problem stems from undertrained staff that are also overworked. In many instances, staff have to deal with medical issues for which they have no training. The article recounts horrific stories of the elderly who have died as a result of such errors.
Here’s an excerpt of the article, “In September, reporters from the two news organizations uncovered 27 deaths from injuries and neglect at homes in San Diego County. Today’s report reveals even farther-reaching problems — those endemic to a system of caregivers who lack medical training:
• A client in San Marcos died after caseworkers ignored a serious cough for 10 days. The staff told the family six days before the resident was finally hospitalized that the client did not need to be sent out for medical treatment.
• A resident of a La Jolla home landed in the emergency room after being given the wrong medicine by a temporary caseworker who called for the client by first name only. The dose was supposed to go to a neighbor with the same name.”