A Kentucky nursing home neglect lawsuit filed last year cited death of a man for lack of medical treatment. The victim was suffering from atrial fibrillation and being treated with a blood thinner. He had a fall in the bathroom leading to a head injury. Caregivers at the nursing home considered it a non-emergency, as there was no severe external injury, and did not call the doctor until next morning. However, the head injury resulted in cerebral bleeding, which became aggravated and was irreversible due to the side effect of the blood thinner he was taking. The resident died of cerebral bleeding.
This Kentucky nursing home medical negligence incident highlights how a combination of negligence and anticoagulant side effect could become fatal for residents. Whether Coumadin, Xarelto or Pradaxa, patients are likely to suffer from internal bleeding, which can become fatal when the drug is misused or residents are not monitored.
ProPublica Slams Blood Thinner Injuries, Deaths in Nursing Homes
A ProPublica investigative report published in the Washington Post slammed nursing homes for lack of control and monitoring in prescribing blood thinners. The paper highlighted at least 165 nursing home deaths or serious condition of residents occurred between 2011 and 2014 following use of Coumadin, the least dangerous anticoagulant. The risk goes up many times with the use of newer blood thinners, such as Xarelto and Pradaxa, which are subject to thousands of injury lawsuits.
The report also details how blood thinners are subject to rampant misuse by caregivers who are negligent of supervising residents for any bleeding side effect. Improperly trained employees ignorant of side effects have either failed to monitor or their apathetic and negligent attitude let such patients suffer from hemorrhagic consequences.
A 2007 American Journal of Medicine study discovered at least 34,000 blood thinner-related similar incidents in the United States. Residents at Kentucky nursing homes, which are placed at the bottom for lack of care and most reported for neglect and abuse, face increased risk from such misuse.
Nursing Homes Cited for Antibiotic Misuse
According to a recent report in the JAMA Internal Medicine, nursing home residents are at a risk of adverse outcomes from high rate of antibiotic use. Doctors and caregiver at these facilities frequently prescribe antibiotics that result in serious health problems in residents. A Kentucky nursing home neglect lawsuit filed in December 2014 claimed that a resident developed acute gastroenteritis following administration of antibiotics by caregivers without prescription.
Nursing home employees view antibiotics as panacea of infections that are common in aged seniors and even administer them without doctor recommendation. Almost half of residents are given the medication once a year while six to 10 percent of residents of a nursing home treated with it at any point of time.
About 23,000 die and 2 million suffer from illness due to antibiotic side effects, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nursing homes account for third highest antibiotic consumption and their residents face 24 percent more risk of side effects.
Leg Artery Surgery, Antipsychotic Drugs Falsely Used
Studies also indicate massive abuse of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. Caregivers use these medications to control dementia and mentally ill patients and get rid of their services. However, these drugs have serious side effects on these residents. Similarly, leg artery surgery is overused in nursing homes though it rarely benefits a resident. Researchers from the University of California claim that residents suffer from the risk of disability and death within a year following the revascularization surgery. Nursing homes, on the other hand, earn substantially from such costly surgery.
If you have reasons to believe that a resident is subject to nursing home neglect in Kentucky, please contact us or call on 1-866-447-0150 to discuss the best course of action. Our Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyer is ready to assist plaintiffs pursuing claims against caregivers.