Chemical restraint is the unnecessary administration of antipsychotic or sedative medications to subdue residents, to make them more pliant and to make them easier to care for. Benzodiazepines and haloperidol are among the drugs used for chemical restraint in nursing homes.
If your loved one has been a victim of this type of nursing home abuse, the South Carolina personal injury attorneys at Louthian Law Firm can help. Call our Columbia nursing home neglect attorneys today toll free at (803) 454-1200, or use our online contact form. We serve clients throughout South Carolina, including Columbia, Orangeburg, Lexington, Aiken and Sumter.
South Carolina nursing homes must provide patients with information about their rights, including posting a residents’ bill of rights. Among those rights is the right to be free from chemical restraints used for the convenience of the nursing home staff.
Despite these requirements, a 2011 report from the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that 14 percent of the 2.1 million nursing homes residents were prescribed at least one atypical antipsychotic drug during 2007. Further, 51 percent of Medicare atypical antipsychotic drug claims were erroneous, which means they were not used for medically accepted purposes or not documented as having actually been administered.
Nursing homes may administer these drugs to:
In some cases, according to a New York Times blog, a nursing home may prescribe a patient with medication to deal with a temporary problem that harried staff has no time to address, such as nighttime agitation. The resident will then stay on the drug indefinitely, even if there is no medical need for it.
Whatever the reason or the justification, the chemical restraint of a resident for the convenience of nursing home staff, rather than for the resident’s own good, is not legal and is a form of nursing home or elder abuse.
Chemical restraint in nursing homes has many serious consequences:
When elder abuse or nursing home abuse in the form of chemical restraint occurs, you can take legal action on behalf of your loved ones. The South Carolina nursing home negligence lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm can review your case, help you to gather evidence needed to prove abuse and assist you in recovering damages and putting an end to the nursing home abuse. You may be able to recover both economic damages and non-economic damages.
The nursing home will likely deny drug abuse allegations, often by claiming that the medication was necessary for the patient’s health. Our experienced Columbia nursing home negligence attorneys know how to assemble solid evidence to make a strong case that the nursing home administered the medication improperly and in violation of patient rights.
There is no substitute for proper legal help when making an elder abuse claim. The South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm can help you recover compensation for wrongful chemical restraint. Call our nursing home neglect lawyers today toll free at (803) 454-1200, or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.