Medical Malpractice

Is My Loved One Being Abused? Signs of Abuse in Nursing Homes

We only want the best for our loved ones. That’s why we are channeling a substantial amount of our time, effort, and resources just to get the best nursing home that would look after them and take care of their needs. However, can we really be sure that our loved one is getting the care that they truly deserve? Furthermore, can we really guarantee that our loved one is free from any form of nursing home abuse?

According to the website of the Law Offices of Ronald Resmini, more than a third of long term care homes in the country have been in violation of the federal law on the abuse of the elderly. Also, more than 90% of nursing homes are understaff, not to mention a survey that revealed that more than half of nursing aides have admitted to mistreat their patients at least once for the past 12 months. These shocking numbers tell us one thing: that our elderlies are not safe, and so we have to be vigilant enough to detect any signs of nursing home abuse.

The physical manifestations of nursing home abuse are:

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Dehydration, malnutrition
  • Bed sores, rashes
  • Unexplained bruises, broken bones

The emotional manifestations of nursing home abuse are:

  • Anxiety, lack of vigor and affection
  • Fearfulness, especially when a nursing home aide is around
  • Lack of personal hygiene, or the reluctance in keeping oneself clean
  • Lack of motivation to socialize, wants to be alone

The financial manifestations of nursing home abuse are:

  • Missing items/valuables
  • Unexplained withdrawals
  • Ignored requests for needed medical assistance
  • Forged documents to extend custody

Abuse is punishable to the fullest extent permitted by the applicable law. The only challenge, however, is that most cases of nursing home abuse remain unreported and undocumented. One way to report an a suspected elder abuse is by contacting Adult Protective Services (APS), which has presence in every state across U.S.

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The Severity of Improper Prescriptions

Medical malpractice is more than just physicians or medical professionals not upholding the standard of care to their patients. There are many ways a patient can get hurt because of a doctor’s medical error. Failing to diagnose a patients’ illness, misdiagnosing it, or even having delayed diagnosis can all account as medical malpractice, especially if the patient’s illness is life-threatening.

Patients who have been through such ordeals can file lawsuits against the doctor and even the hospital for putting their lives in danger. Anyone who has suffered from wrong or delayed diagnosis can go through unnecessary drug prescriptions, surgeries, or treatments. This can put a strain on their already frail health, and put them in more health risks. Not only are they draining on the mental, physical and emotional strength, they can be hard on the budget as well.

Misprescribing and over-prescribing are also part of medical errors, and they can be basis for medical malpractice lawsuits. Most of the mis-precribe and over-prescribe errors are due to doctors misdiagnosing their patients real ailments. Taking drugs or treatments meant for another type of malady can make the patient sicker and expose them to other health complications. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, taking action against such medical errors can help prevent future patients from suffering the same fate, and to get compensation for all the damages that the patients have suffered.

Along the lines of unnecessary drug prescriptions, many patients have sued the makers of Zoloft for the drugs’ ineffectiveness. Pfizer, the manufacturers of the anti-depression drug, have been served a class action lawsuit for allegedly deceiving patients and doctors about its effectiveness against depression while masking potential Zoloft dangers. Arguments state that Zoloft performs no better than a placebo, and are only causing further side effects for patients battling depression.

Even minor medical errors can have a big impact on the lives of patients, which is why it is vital for medical professionals to provide the highest standard of care. Negligence, especially on the medicine world, can be dangerous, because they are the ones that handle the health of their patients. Those who have been negligent should be held accountable for their actions.

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