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Nursing Home Prescriptions May Result in Injury or Harm for Dementia Patients

A recent study by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) cautions nursing home prescriptions may result in injury or harm for dementia patients and extended care patients in general.  The study showed drug therapy, and the use of anti-psychotics in particular, are recommended only in cases where the “potential benefits outweigh the adverse side effects” of the prescription.

Unfortunately, many Kentucky and Louisville nursing homes and extended care facilities are under-staffed.  Anti-psychotic medications are often prescribed to assist these facilities with patient management.  Anti-psychotic medications generally make a patient more sedate requiring less care and oversight.  Fortunately, federal laws and Kentucky statutes have been put in place to establish a high standard of care for our beloved senior family members.  The fact is many of Kentucky’s nursing home and assisted care facilities fail to meet these standards on a regular basis.

Nursing homes are required to employ or hire professional pharmacists who should review the prescriptions of all patients on a monthly basis to ensure the mental and physical condition of each patient warrants the use of each prescribed medication.

Nursing home prescriptions may result in injury or harm for dementia patients including falls resulting in injury or nursing home neglect or adverse reactions to the medications themselves.  The symptoms of over-prescription or interactions between medications may take a little time or present subtle reactions or challenges.  Anti-psychotics can decrease the cognitive and physical capacities of the patient making them more vulnerable to a slip or fall injury.

The study noted some glaring inadequacies, including but not limited to:

  • Drug usage is not properly charted in 57% of cases
  • In 47% of patients studied, they were not physically assessed to determine viability, dosage and reactions
  • In 61% of the cases, the facility failed to conduct proper lab testing to determine if medications should be continued, modified or discontinued.

The experienced nursing home abuse, neglect and personal injury attorneys at HLH each have decades of experience in personal injury and nursing home related cases.  If you are concerned about neglect, abuse or an injury your loved one has sustained in a nursing home or extended care facility we invite you to contact us or call (866) 583-9701 for a free consultation.

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