Polypharmacy, the use of multiple medications (typically four or more), is common among older adults. Many need to take more than one drug to manage the health conditions they have. Every nursing home resident should have a specific care plan that details all their medical conditions and the medicines needed to treat them.
Many families place their family members in a nursing home to receive the supervision and attention they deserve regarding their medical conditions. They also place them there to ensure they receive the proper preparation and administration of medications.
If your loved one experienced an injury as the result of a medication error in a nursing home, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm might be able to help you. Call us today at (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free case evaluation and discuss how a Jacksonville polypharmacy lawyer can help you understand your rights and answer your questions.
While there is no exact definition that describes polypharmacy, the general understanding is that any person that takes several medications at once should receive careful attention. As expected, many nursing home residents take several medications to treat injuries, illnesses, and chronic medical conditions.
Combining the medications should receive intense scrutiny and supervision to ensure no dangerous interactions occur or that a resident does not receive the wrong medicines or medicines in the incorrect dosages.
Research published in the Clinical Geriatric Medicine Journal indicates that excessive polypharmacy is dangerous. Because there is an increased risk factor to seniors in nursing homes related to polypharmacy, extra steps to ensure their safety and care should occur to provide a safe environment.
Polypharmacy Risks in Nursing Homes
When any person takes more than one drug, there may be unexpected interactions. Careful monitoring of residents of nursing homes must occur to ensure their safety and health. While combining drugs and medications can prove risky for any person of any age, there are greater risks for polypharmacy to elderly residents of nursing homes for the following reasons:
- Elderly seniors do not always metabolize or process medications in the same way that younger adults do because of slower metabolisms. Therefore, the more medications that a senior must take, the longer they may stay in their system, and the longer it takes for them to eliminate both the drug and its byproducts. As a result, it can place additional strain on an elderly person’s body. This additional strain can become a greater risk when several medications are in the person’s body at one time.
- Because polypharmacy may occur in elderly residents, there is a greater risk for medication errors. The more medications a person takes, the higher the risk of preparation and administration errors.
- Any drug can interact with another drug. Increasing the number of drugs and medications an elderly resident receives only increases the risk of potentially dangerous or life-threatening side effects associated with these medications’ interactions.
- With so many medications to take, elderly residents of a nursing home may make an error in taking their medications. In most cases, a nursing home will provide the medication to the senior resident and take the time to ensure that the individual takes the medication properly. However, if a nursing home remains understaffed, poorly trained, or if staff are overworked, the facility might not have the ability to ensure that residents properly receive and take their medications the right way on time, leading to potentially life-threatening scenarios.
- The more medications a nursing home resident takes, the greater the number of side effects. Many medications have side effects that include blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and more. The more medications an elderly resident takes, the greater the number of side effects, leading to slip and fall accidents or malnutrition.
For a free legal consultation with a Polypharmacy Lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 794-0444
Dangerous Polypharmacy Practices
According to research published in the American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy, 40% of all residents of nursing homes took more than nine types of medications in the study, which is substantially larger than the number used for typical discussion purposes of polypharmacy. As a result, many elderly residents of nursing homes can suffer serious side effects resulting in injury or death. If your loved one is a resident of a nursing home, consider watching for the following symptoms of dangerous polypharmacy:
- Nursing home employees do not stay on schedule with the preparation and distribution of medications.
- Nursing home employees mix up medications or provide incorrect dosages of correct medications.
- Nursing home employees do not appear to carefully check medications or monitor the interactions of new medications prescribed to residents of nursing homes.
- Nursing home employees have made severe errors with medications.
- Your loved one experienced a severe injury or even death due to a nursing home failing to properly prepare or administer medications.
The failure to ensure residents receive the proper medication at the proper time and that the medications do not have any dangerous interactions is a sign of neglect. If your loved one has experienced polypharmacy errors, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn how a Jacksonville polypharmacy lawyer can help you receive justice.
We can help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit that could win financial recovery and cover your loved one’s damages and award them with compensation that can give them peace of mind. The opportunity to pursue legal action is limited. Florida Statutes §492.296 allows you up to two years from the incident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can get to work for you and file your case on time.
Jacksonville Polypharmacy Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Will Fight for Your Loved One
Your family expected that your loved one would receive proper care and supervision as a resident of a nursing home. If you feel that your loved one suffered or experienced elder abuse or neglect because they received improper supervision and administration of medications, working with a Jacksonville polypharmacy lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm might be the path to take.
Call us now to schedule a free consultation at (800) 842-6336. We are ready to fight for the rights of your elderly loved one and help you receive justice.