More than half of nursing home residents who have not been diagnosed with a psychotic mental illness have been given antipsychotic medication by staff members. That statistic comes from a report released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2010. These drugs can have serious and even fatal side effects for elderly people with dementia. An injury lawyer in Brockton is known to help families who have learned that their loved one was given an antipsychotic drug and then experienced negative effects.
People may wonder why nursing assistants, nurses and other employees would give drugs to residents who do not have a prescription for the medication. They do so because antipsychotic drugs have a calming effect on patients with dementia who sometimes become agitated and even violent. Overworked employees may resort to providing the drugs out of a sense of desperation, but the action can cause severe harm to the resident, and legally, it is categorized as chemical restraint: a form of abuse.
Antipsychotic medicine can cause worse side effects for people with dementia than for patients dealing with a serious mental illness; it is unclear why this occurs. Especially when the drugs are administered somewhat routinely, patients may have a higher risk of stroke or an irregular heartbeat, and they may develop diabetes and high cholesterol. They may begin experiencing twitches, tremors and more noticeable muscle movements they cannot control. An injury lawyer in Brockton provides legal representation for families of these patients and helps them obtain deserved compensation.
An effect that families may consider the worst consequence is faster mental deterioration. This is heartbreaking for family members who now realize this person could have had a better memory and mental capacity for a longer period of time, were it not for the administration of a certain drug.
Families trust skilled nursing care facilities to take excellent care of their loved ones, but when that trust has been betrayed, they naturally are dismayed and angry. A firm such as the Law Office of Bruce S. Raphel handles medical malpractice cases and provides skilled, experienced counsel.