Dementia Patients Particularly Vulnerable
Overuse of Anti-Psychotic Drugs
Incomplete Information and “Informed Consent”
Thousands of dementia patients in nursing homes are being overmedicated with psychotropic drugs every day throughout the United States. One recent study found that nursing homes administer unnecessary antipsychotic drugs to 179,000 patients every week. Another report indicates nursing homes administer antipsychotic drugs to at least 20% of their patients. Nursing homes often substitute individualized care with the use of psychotropic drugs to make up for the lack of adequate staffing in their facilities; nursing homes administer the drugs to residents in order to sedate or control them.
The Alameda County, San Francisco and California nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. understand what can go horribly wrong when a nursing home resident is overmedicated or abandoned, neglected or abused. We represent elderly victims of such abuse and our attorneys know how to investigate these cases and what remedies are available to the victims. If you or someone you know is suffering from nursing home abuse here in Alameda County, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call the nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm today at 415-441-8669, and we can help. You may have noticec abnormal changes in your loved one’s behavior, and the reason could be physical abuse or overmedication. An overmedicated patient may become reclusive, confused or begin sleeping for long periods of time; they may also develop unexplained medical conditions.
Intentional overmedication or administration of unnecessary anti-psychotic drugs is an illegal form of elder physical abuse, referred to in the law as “chemical restraint.” See, e.g., Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.63. While the practice is illegal, overmedication is not always detected and, even when suspected, may not be reported. The results of ignoring overmedication or improper medication can, however, be fatal: some reports claim as many as 15,000 nursing home residents die each year due to un-prescribed antipsychotics. Even when a home records the “informed consent” of the patient’s family, that may not be wholly accurate. Under California law, if a resident receives psychotropic drugs without receiving material information and giving consent, the facility may be liable. See Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 1418.9 et seq. and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.07. Dangerous side effects include, but are not limited to, excessive sedation, weight loss, heart attack, stroke, delirium, agitation, and increased risk of pneumonia.
If you or a loved one is or has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.