Articles Tagged with nursing home abuse

Nursing home residents who contract blood infections are at dire risk of life-threatening illnesses. One study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General found that septicemia, or sepsis, was by far the most common reason nursing home residents were moved to acute-care hospitals. Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s life-threatening response to an infection, which can result in tissue damage, organ failure, and even death. The cause of sepsis is infection. The cost of those transfers as of six years ago was $3 billion for Medicare.needle

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that quality care problems at nursing homes – including failures to prevent infections – account for hundreds of thousands of cases annually. The agency asserted some 315,000 hospital admissions annually could be prevented among nursing home residents who receive Medicare and Medicaid if nursing homes provided better quality care. That’s the equivalent of three jumbo jets crashing and killing their passengers every single day. Many of those admissions are for sepsis, which most often occurs in people over the age of 65 who have weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions. Globally, it’s estimated there are 15 million to 19 million cases a year.

Now, a physician in Virginia may have found a way to treat sepsis. His research, published in the journal Chest, reveals remarkable success treating individuals at high risk of sudden death due to sepsis.

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Chemical restraints involve the use of any type of drug for the purpose of restricting a person’s movement or freedom. A chemical restraint usually involves either a sedative, an anti-anxiety medication, or an anti-psychotic medication. In a nursing home setting, it’s illegal to use these drugs unless they are medically necessary to treat a specific medical condition or prevent the resident from causing immediate physical harm to themselves or others. wheelchair

Unfortunately, there are too many nursing homes that use these types of drugs on individuals for whom they are not medically necessary. Instead, it’s done for the convenience of the staff. For example, a dementia patient may have the propensity to wander, but that’s far less likely if they are sedated. The facility will drug the person rather than invest the time and money needed to provide proper supervision of the patient. But that’s a form of nursing home abuse. This can be a confusing matter for the family, especially since facility administrators are unlikely to refer to these drugs as “restraints.”

Recently in Virginia, a family filed a nursing home abuse lawsuit against a facility that had been in charge of caring for an 84-year-old matriarch. According to The Virginian-Pilot, staffers at the nursing home not only bound her to her wheelchair with bed sheets but also injected her with a powerful sedative in order to “silence” her.

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