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Nursing Home Abuse May Involve Improper Use of Drugs as Sedatives

 Posted on September 24, 2021 in Nursing Home Negligence

Rolling Meadows Personal Injury LawyerNursing homes are supposed to provide a safe environment for people who need assistance meeting their daily needs. Unfortunately, many facilities fail to live up to this responsibility, and residents can suffer serious harm due to nursing home abuse. One issue that has become a concern for many residents and their loved ones is the improper use of sedatives, antipsychotic drugs, and other medications.

Increase in Schizophrenia Diagnoses for Nursing Home Patients

Some nursing home residents suffer from dementia, and there are certain medications that are approved to treat these conditions. Some types of antipsychotic medications may be used for these patients, but these drugs can be dangerous, leading to increased risks of infections, heart disease, falls, among other risks. These drugs have been described as “chemical straitjackets,” since they may be used to sedate patients that nursing home staff members believe are troublesome or disruptive.

To ensure that patients receive the proper treatment and that antipsychotic drugs are not overused, nursing homes are required to report the number of residents who receive these types of medications. However, there is a loophole in this requirement: nursing homes are not required to report the use of antipsychotic drugs for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, or Huntington’s disease. Since 2012, the year the reporting requirements were put in place, the share of nursing home residents diagnosed with schizophrenia has increased by 70%. Even though schizophrenia only affects around one out of every 150 people, around one out of every nine nursing home residents has been diagnosed with this condition.

This increase in schizophrenia diagnoses may be occurring so that nursing homes can administer sedatives to patients rather than provide them with the care and supervision they need. Dementia patients require more time and effort from staff members, and nursing homes that are understaffed may struggle to provide the necessary care, especially if staff members do not have the proper training to address these patients’ needs. While sedating patients may make staff members’ jobs easier, it can have serious, harmful effects on patients’ health.

Contact Our Arlington Heights Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

Using medications as a form of restraint is a serious form of nursing home abuse. Family members of patients who have suffered harm due to the improper use of drugs will want to understand their options for holding a nursing home responsible for this abuse. To learn how Newland & Newland, LLP can help you address these issues or other concerns about the health and safety of your loved one, contact our Rolling Meadows nursing home injury attorneys at 847-797-8000 and set up a free consultation.



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