If you have a family member or loved one in a nursing home, you might want to listen to this article produced on National Public Radio (NPR), “Old and Overmedicated: The Real Drug Problem In Nursing Homes.”
In the article NPR reports that 300,000 nursing home patients are given antipsychotic drugs which are prescribed for patients with anxiety or aggression that often accompany dementia or Alzheimers. While antipsychotic drugs were approved by the FDA for mental illnesses including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, they are prescribed for dementia but with health warnings that are often ignored.
It is against the law to prescribe psychoactive, sedative and antipsychotic drugs to patients for the convenience of the staff, to simply keep patients quiet or restrict a patient’s movement or freedom. When drugs are used for sedation, it is called “chemical restraint.”
The federal government and most states have laws which prohibit chemical restraint. Chemical restraints are to only be used for the safety of an individual and the patient or family of the patient has the elgal right to refuse treatment with these powerful drugs.
The Federal government publishes the rate of antipsychotic drug use at every nursing home in the country. However, in some nursing homes, nearly 80% of all patients receive antipsychotic drugs.
The powerful drugs that can chemically restrain patients are generally only approved for short term use. There have been many cases of patients who died as a result of being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs. One Food and Drug Administration official estimated that up to 15,000 nursing home residents may be killed every year due to unnecessary anti-psychotic drugs.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
The Farber Law Group is a personal injury law firm located in Bellevue, Washington and we review potential lawsuits for chemical restraint or excessive physical restraints.
We believe that every nursing home resident has the right to live their lives without being physically abused, chemically restrained or mentally abused.
If you believe a loved one or a friend has been seriously injured due to nursing home abuse or neglect, we will provide a free consultation to evaluate your legal claim and to insure that your loved one’s rights are protected. In some cases, your loved one may have a claim for compensation from the nursing home or parent company.
We provide a free consultation however some claims are time sensitive so contact us as soon as possible.