According to the 2011 report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 14 percent of nursing home patients were prescribed atypical antipsychotic drugs in 2007. This means that around 14 percent of nursing home residents were given prescription anti-psychotic drugs for uses other than intended by doctors- in most cases, to act as a form of chemical restraint to stop disruptive or bothersome behavior.

As Alpharetta, Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers, we have unfortunately seen the use of both chemical and physical restraints in nursing homes as a technique used by overworked or disinterested staff to deal with patients. From seniors strapped to the bed to people tied into wheel chairs to patients dosed with drugs to make them docile, unreasonable restraint is a dangerous trend in nursing homes and is a trend that can have very serious consequences.

If you or a loved one has been victimized by the unwarranted and unreasonable use of restraints in nursing homes, it is important to get help. In addition to reporting the abuse to law enforcement and elder protection agencies in Georgia, it is advisable to speak with an Alpharetta, Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for information on taking legal action to recover compensation from the nursing home as well as ensure it does not continue to happen to other patients.

Alpharetta, Georgia Nursing Home Abuse and the Dangers of Unreasonable Restraint

Unreasonable restraint involves the inappropriate and abusive use of chemical or physical restraints. While patients sometimes may need to be bound to the bed in order to avoid injuring themselves, for example, restraining of patients to control behavior should never be a go-to care option in nursing homes.

Unfortunately, instead of more time-consuming methods of dealing with behavioral problems, such as spending time with the patients or supervising the patients to manage their behavior, some nursing home staff will simply use chemicals or bonds. Some examples of potentially unreasonable restraint include:
  • Leg and arm restraints
  • Hand mittens
  • Vets
  • Ties
  • Trays, tables or bars that prevent mobility
  • The use of medications solely to render a patient calm or docile
These and other restraints should be used only when medically necessary to treat a specific condition that cannot otherwise be resolved without restraint.

Unreasonable restraint of a patient can cause severe emotional harm, leading to depression, anxiety and even suicide. In some cases, physical injury can result from unreasonable restraint as well, such as when an immobilized patient begins to develop bedsores or bruises from struggling against the restraints. The unauthorized use of anti-psychotic medications can also have grave consequences, with Health & Medicine Policy Research Group reporting that chemical restraints cause as many as 15,000 nursing home patients to die each year.

Getting Help from an Alpharetta, Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing homes have a responsibility to provide reasonable care for their patients and improperly using restraints is a breach of that duty. Nursing homes, therefore, can be held legally responsible for any consequences that result from the improper use of restraint. Victims may be entitled to compensation for any medical treatment costs made necessary by the unreasonable use of restraints, as well as to compensation for pain and suffering and emotional stress they endure. If the unreasonable use of restraints causes death, the family members who lost a loved one may be able to bring a wrongful death action against the nursing home.

Taking action against a nursing home can be legally complicated, but an Alpharetta, Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer can help. At Van Sant Law, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience representing nursing home clients who were victims of abuse. If you would like to take action and make the nursing home who hurt you pay, give our Alpheretta nursing home abuse lawyers a call today at (404) 991-5950 to learn about how we can help you.

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