Many senior citizens require the use of multiple medications to treat chronic conditions and maintain overall health. However, when caretakers do not take necessary precautions, they can actually cause more harm than good due to the possible adverse interactions medications may have with each other.
If your loved one experienced complications due to polypharmacy in a nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. A member of our team can discuss the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s injuries and how an Atlanta polypharmacy lawyer can help.
Why Polypharmacy Is Dangerous for Seniors
Polypharmacy is the use of multiple medications for a patient. As people age, they may require multiple medications to manage different medical conditions. However, as the number of medications increase, there is greater risk. Many drugs have dangerous interactions when they are used by the same patient, and some of these risks are not discovered until a tragedy occurs.
Dangers of polypharmacy to seniors include:
There Is an Increased Risk for Adverse Drug Interactions
Seniors may experience a variety of side effects when two or more drugs interact together. The more medications that your loved one uses on a regular basis, the more adverse interactions there may be. One serious side effect for elderly individuals is an increased risk for falling, which can result in serious injuries like broken hips and fractures in the elderly population.
Seniors May Process Drugs Differently Than Younger Patients
Older patients may not process drugs in the same way as younger patients, which can result in the senior suffering an unprecedented injury. A serious negative interaction can be deadly for an older loved one with a compromised immune system.
Mistakes Are More Likely to Occur
Various individuals assist with prescribing, administering, and managing medications for senior citizens, including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and caretakers. The more medications that your loved one takes, the more likely it is that a mistake will occur, including:
- Dosage errors
- Mistaking one medication for the other
- Prescribing a medication that the senior is allergic to
- Introducing inappropriate or unnecessary medications
- Mislabeling the medication or not reading it properly
- Taking medication at the wrong time of day
Warning Signs of Flawed Polypharmacy
Warning signs that your loved one is suffering harm because of inappropriate polypharmacy include:
- Allergic reactions
- Changes in personality or behavior
- Incontinence or constipation
- Onset or worsening of mental health issues, including depression or anxiety
- Unexplained weight loss
- Confusion, disorientation, or sensory damage
- Bruising or bleeding
- Headaches or muscle pain
- Increased incident of falls
- Insomnia or other problems sleeping
- Serious medical conditions, including paralysis, stroke, organ failure, or cardiac arrest
- Neurological damage
The most tragic incidents result in the patient’s death.
Our Atlanta polypharmacy lawyers are dedicated to helping you prevent any further injury to your loved one and that negligent facilities are held financially responsible for the harm they cause.
For a free legal consultation with an polypharmacy lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
When Atlanta Nursing Homes Are Liable for Polypharmacy Errors
Nursing homes that receive payment through Medicaid or Medicare are required to follow federal regulations. Additionally, nursing homes in Georgia are required to follow these state laws, according to the Georgia Department of Community Health:
- Continuing care from the physician who sees the patient at least once a month for the first three months of the patient’s residence and then according to a routine plan based on the patient’s condition
- Ordering prescribed medications to patients that are written by a doctor or dictated by a doctor and immediately written down by a licensed nurse
- Automatically stopping medications that do not have a time or dosage limit in accordance with a written policy
- Administering all medications by medical or nursing personnel in compliance with established standards and in accordance with state law and regulations
- Using and checking medications against physicians’ orders when administering medication
- Keeping all medicines in their original containers
- Properly removing outdated, mislabeled, or unusable medications
- Immediately reporting any medication errors or drug reactions to the patient’s physician
Additionally, nursing homes have a legal duty to carefully review patients’ medical histories and regimen on a routine basis. Nursing home staff should be readily available to assist patients with their medication and to organize medications so that they are not confused with each other. If a resident experiences an adverse drug interaction, nursing home staff should act promptly to mitigate the harm.
If a nursing home does not obey the relevant regulations and your loved one is harmed as a result, the nursing home may be liable for the damages it causes. Although it is impossible to reverse the nursing home’s negligent actions, our lawyers can help hold the home accountable and focus on preventing any future injuries.
Atlanta Polypharmacy Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How We Can Help
Polypharmacy cases are often complicated and involve a unique interaction between medicine and the law. Having a lawyer who is knowledgeable about these complexities can help you identify how the mistake occurred and how you can recover compensation on your loved one’s behalf.
Our lawyers can thoroughly investigate your claim to determine all potentially liable parties. We can also recommend steps that you can take to protect your legal rights. We can handle communication with the nursing home and obtain important records before they are lost or destroyed. We will fight for your full financial recovery through a negotiated settlement or through a verdict. Knowing that your legal claim is handled by a professional legal staff can help you focus on your loved one.
If a negligent nursing home has harmed your loved one, our Atlanta polypharmacy lawyers will fight to hold it responsible for the additional treatment your loved one will need and other financial losses you suffer. Call us today for a free case review.