Georgia law gives nursing home residents the right to be free from chemical and physical restraints that restrict mobility. While there can be legitimate reasons for them, some nursing care facilities use these tools to keep difficult residents in line.
This can be a violation of state and federal law, as both prohibit using restraints for the sake of convenience rather than out medical necessity.
Physical restraints are any devices or equipment used to restrict a resident’s freedom of movement. Common types of physical restraints used in nursing homes include:
- Hand mitts
- Soft ties
- Lap cushions
- Specialized chairs
- Lap trays or tables
- Bedrails, if installed for the sole purpose of restricting mobility
Chemical restraints are drugs used to sedate residents or restrict their movements. Types of medications used as chemical restraints in nursing facilities often include powerful antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and dissociative anesthetics.
Nursing home staff members aren’t allowed to use either physical or chemical restraints on residents without a doctor’s order, but not all facilities play by the rules. The misuse of restraints can result in serious injury. Victims of improper physical restraints may suffer from discomfort, pain, bedsores, or loss of muscle strength. Victims of chemical restraints are exposed to the risk of severe pharmacological side effects. Additionally, people subjected to both types of restraints may experience psychological harm, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you or a loved one was improperly restrained at a Georgia nursing home facility, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney will investigate your claim, and help you fight for damages and hold the at-fault parties accountable.
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Pursuing compensation for nursing home abuse restraint injuries can be a complex and emotional process, which is why you need skillful legal counsel. At Van Sant Law, our dedicated attorneys can help you understand your rights and explore options for damages. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.