Blog posts tagged in Texas nursing home attorney
A new report by AARP exposes the overuse of antipsychotic and other dangerous medications to nursing home patients. According to nursing home statistics from the University of California, one in five nursing home patients are given antipsychotic drugs that are unnecessary. These drugs are also often extremely dangerous, especially for elderly patients.
A major issue with many nursing homes is they are understaffed. There should be one CNA to every seven patients, but the average nursing home ratio is one CNA for every 15 patients. There are also very few physicians on staff at nursing homes.
Antipsychotic drugs are given to patients as a “chemical restraint” to keep patients who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other conditions sedated and quiet. Many drug manufacturers marketed these drugs to nursing homes to be used in this manner. Last year, several drug companies were fined more than $2.2 billion for touting the use of antipsychotics to nursing homes, even though the companies knew the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not approved their use in elderly patients.
The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a national report on nursing homes. According to the report, almost one third of nursing home patients are injured by treatments they received in nursing homes. The majority of those injuries are avoidable.
The study found that the majority of problems could be contributed to deficiencies in the day-to-day care that the facilities provided. Not providing enough attention to details of the care patients need as well as monitoring the patients’ needs – what one inspector referred to as “substantial medical care.”
The agency looked at the medical records of 653 Medicare patients who had been admitted into a nursing home for additional care after having been in the hospital. The average stay at the nursing home facility was 35 days or less.
While at the nursing homes, 22 percent of patients suffered what the agency termed “adverse event” and another 11 percent suffered “temporary harm events.” Doctors who reviewed these events determined that 59 percent of these events were “clearly or likely preventable.” According to the report, these physicians deemed the cause of these preventable events to “substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care.”
Half of the patients who were injured ended up being admitted back into the hospital for needed treatment. The total cost for treatment of patients who are injured in a nursing home in 2011 was $2.8 billion.
Nursing home advocates say that not only are there staffing shortages and issues at many facilities, but lack of training also contributes a great deal to the injuries that elderly patients receive in these events.
If one of your family members has been injured because of negligence of nursing home staff, contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney
to find out what civil action you may be entitled to take against the facility.