Prevalence of Preventable Nursing Home Injuries

by | Apr 17, 2014 | Uncategorized

9841759_s-300x200.jpgMillions of Americans currently reside in nursing homes and, although nursing home facilities are supposed to provide adequate medical care to their residents, sadly many of them do not. In fact, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, a study conducted in 2000 found that approximately 44% of nursing home residents had been abused and 95% had been neglected or seen another resident neglected while in a nursing home. Not only are many nursing home residents abused or neglected, they often suffer injuries and physical harm as a result. In fact, a February 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) – entitled “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries” – provided some rather dire information regarding the prevalence of preventable injuries in nursing homes. The OIG reported that approximately 22% of Medicare beneficiaries experienced an adverse event – or harm resulting from medical care – while in a skilled nursing facility. The OIG classified the adverse events into one of the following three categories: medication errors, ongoing resident care errors, and infections. Medication errors and ongoing care errors both accounted for 37% of the adverse events, followed by infection injuries at 26%. Perhaps most alarming, however, is that the report revealed that the majority of adverse events were preventable, with many of the adverse events caused by substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and the failure or delay in necessary care. Additionally, according to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, a 2010 study conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that some nursing homes are misusing medications, with more than 17% of nursing home residents throughout the country given more than the required amount of antipsychotic drugs on a daily basis. In some states, the problem is particularly troublesome. For instance, in California alone, the study showed at least 25% of all statewide nursing home residents receive more than the required amount of a medication and in Florida the study revealed that an alarming 71% of the state’s nursing home residents were being overdosed with antipsychotic medications. Given that most nursing home patients are taking prescription drugs – and, in many cases, patients are taking several prescription drugs – it is imperative that nursing homes properly administer the medications to their patients. Unfortunately, some nursing homes do not properly administer patient medications, which can result in additional illnesses and injuries. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home patients and ensuring that they and their families get the compensation they deserve in the event that they are the victim of nursing home abuse. If you suspect that you or a loved one was the victim of a preventable medical error at a nursing home, contact our office at (312) 782-1386 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers.

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