Over- and Under-medicating Nursing Home Patients

Cleveland Personal Injury Attorney

Elderly adults often require medication to maintain their health. Hypertension, diabetes and other diseases common to older adults require strict adherence to medications to counter their damaging effects. It is incumbent upon nursing home staff, therefore, to make sure patients receive the medications they are prescribed in the proper doses. Unfortunately, all too often this simply does not happen. If you believe your loved one is being improperly medicated, discuss the matter with a Cleveland nursing home neglect attorney.

A Cleveland Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Discusses Intent

Nursing homes are often overcrowded and understaffed these days. This is due in part to the dramatic rise in the elderly population in this country as baby boomers reach their golden years. As your Cleveland nursing home neglect attorney will tell you, a large percentage of nursing homes simply do not provide adequate care. In some cases, this is due to inadequate staffing in relation to patient numbers. Thus, medication errors are bound to occur. 

Sometimes, though, staff intentionally over- or under-medicate patients. Regardless of whether there was intent or simple neglect occurs, nursing home staff has a duty to care for these patients. Therefore, as your Cleveland nursing home neglect attorney will tell you, they can be held liable if a medication error leads to injury.

A Cleveland Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Gives Examples of Medication Errors

Because some facilities are understaffed, mistakes often occur. In some cases, a patient may be given another resident’s medication. Doctors closely monitor the medications they prescribe, and they make sure that medications do not conflict when several are necessary. Thus, when medications are inadvertently given to the wrong patient, two people may suffer: the one receiving the medication and the one who does not get the medication they need.

Your Cleveland nursing home neglect attorney will tell you that it is not uncommon for nursing home staff to skip doses as well. This diminishes the medicinal effects of the drug, which can cause significant health problems in the patient. 

A Cleveland Nursing Home Neglect Attorney on Purposeful Overdosing

It is a sad commentary on our nursing facilities that staff occasionally overdoses patients on purpose. This may be done with malicious intent, such as in punishing a patient. More often, however, the staff simply wants to subdue a patient who gives them problems. A Cleveland nursing home neglect attorney will tell you that the use of antipsychotics to this end occurs disturbingly often. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports, indeed, that 17% of nursing home residents in the nation receive higher doses of antipsychotics than are prescribed. 

Signs that your loved one may be suffering from under- or over-dosing include:

-Disoriented behavior
-Confusion and forgetfulness
-Withdrawal symptoms
-Marked change in behavior or demeanor
-Avoidance of family on visits
-Medical complications

Call a Cleveland Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer for Help Today

If you have observed symptoms such as those mentioned above or have other reasons to believe that your loved one is suffering from improper medicating, it is very important that you consult with a Cleveland nursing home neglect attorney right away. Call the Law Office of Shapero & Green at 216-831-5100.


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