Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Prescription meds: Another chance for nursing home negligence

Maryland has its share of elderly who suffer from disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's, among other conditions that affect mental capacity. Families with older members who suffer from these conditions often find themselves looking for a nursing home that can provide the care that relative needs. During such a search, family members may make inquiries about nursing home negligence or abuse and look for any signs of it as they tour facilities. The problem is that not all negligence or abuse can be easily detected.

For example, inappropriate use of certain prescription medications could easily occur right under a family's noses. Residents and their family members alike often trust doctors who care for nursing home patients. However, it is possible that a medication is being prescribed without necessity that could cause significant harm to a loved one.

Nuedexta has been a popular nursing home drug for several years now. Since it hit the market in 2011, nursing home residents have suffered a wide variety of side effects due to this particular medication. Some patients required a trip to the hospital to deal with the side effects, while some died. The medication can put residents into a stupor or a confused or unresponsive state, which can lead to falls or other harm. CNN discovered that many doctors who regularly prescribe the drug (approximately 45 percent) receive some sort of financial incentive from the drug's manufacturer.

If a Maryland family has a loved one placed on Nuedexta, and he or she suffers harm, it could be due to this medication. Keeping someone in a medicated and controllable state may constitute nursing home negligence if the evidence shows that he or she does not have a medical need for the drug. Family members who suspect this may be the case might benefit from discussing the circumstances with an attorney to determine whether legal action would be appropriate.

Source: CNN, "How CNN reported on Nuedexta", Blake Ellis, Melanie Hicken and Sergio Hernandez, Accessed on Dec. 24, 2017

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