Overmedicating patients is sometimes a problem for several different reasons. Most commonly, nursing home staff that does not want to deal with patients who can be sometimes unruly will end up overmedicating them to sedate them. In other situations, however, there may be some type of fraud involved.
Even when medications are not so dangerous as to carry a black box warning, overmedication can present a very real risk to the patient’s life. In addition to the potential side effects that any drug carries with it, overmedicating a patient may create a situation where they may be at risk for effects that are the direct results of taking too much of a drug.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Some patients suffer from conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s which makes it extremely difficult for them to get through to people when something is wrong. To make the situation worse, people who suffer with these disorders sometimes do suffer with a certain degree of paranoia, as well, which means that they may not be believed when they claim that a doctor or another staff member is overmedicating them. This can create a deadly situation and, if the nursing home allows this to go on, there’s no telling how long it may persist.
If you have a loved one who has suffered because of being overmedicated at a nursing home, contact a nursing home negligence attorney. In addition to whatever criminal actions may be taken against the people who were guilty of overmedicating a patient, such an attorney may be able to bring a civil lawsuit that could win your family compensation for what your loved one has been put through and that could be used to help pay for the expenses of recovery or moving to a new nursing home.