Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Represent Victims of Chemical Restraints in NJ Nursing Homes
Sedatives and other psychoactive drugs have serious side effects and can be extremely dangerous, even when ordered by a physician. This is especially true for elderly patients because a combination of different drugs can have toxic side effects, leading to serious injuries and even wrongful death. Elderly patients in nursing homes tend to be taking multiple medications at the same time.
Unfortunately, despite these risks, the use of chemical restraints on the elderly is prevalent in New Jersey nursing homes. Far too many of these nursing homes use chemical restraints to sedate patients simply because the facilities are understaffed or because the employees want to make it easier to supervise residents.
Contact Sugarman Law today to speak with an attorney who regularly handles cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect, including improper use of chemical restraints and failure to properly medicate. The knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorneys at Sugarman Law represent clients throughout the state, including North Jersey, South Jersey, and Central Jersey. The firm has two office locations allowing Barry Sugarman and his skilled legal team to better serve families throughout NJ. You can read about some of Mr. Sugarman’s recent verdicts and settlements by visiting his success stories page.
What is the Law in New Jersey Regarding the Use of Chemical Restraints?
A chemical restraint refers to a drug that is used to inhibit a person’s movements. Chemical restraints typically involve psychoactive drugs being administered to nursing home residents. These drugs impact the brain and alter the user’s personality and behavior. The main types of chemical restraints include:
- Antipsychotics: Some of the most commonly administered antipsychotic drugs include droperidol, haloperidol, risperidone, and olanzapine. Antipsychotic medications are frequently administered to elderly patients suffering from dementia or schizophrenia.
- Benzodiazepines: The most commonly used benzodiazepines include Valium and Ativan. These drugs are used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures.
- Dissociative Anesthetics: These are hallucinogens that alter a person’s perceptions of sounds and images.
- Antidepressants: Elderly residents suffering from depression are often prescribed Prozac or Zoloft.
The use of chemical restraints can profoundly affect elderly residents and result in common nursing home injuries, such as:
- Delirium and hallucinations
- Increased risk of slip & fall accidents
- Decreased circulation and blood flow
- Urinary incontinence
- Broken bones
- Skin tears
- Nerve injury
- Musculoskeletal injury
- Heart conditions
- Wrongful death
As set forth by the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, nursing homes are prohibited from using chemical or physical restraints for the purpose of disciplining residents. The federal statute also stipulates that nursing homes may not impose any chemical or physical restraints for the purpose of convenience. Restraints may be used only when they are absolutely vital to the physical safety of residents. Prior to using restraints on an elderly resident, the nursing home should develop and review a plan of care for the resident. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to closely monitor a patient after using chemical restraints in order to ensure that the patient does not suffer adverse reactions or negative side effects.
If the Nursing Home is Sedating Your Loved One Unnecessarily, Contact an Experienced NJ Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It is important to be on the lookout for signs of unauthorized chemical restraint use because pharmaceutical abuse is less obvious than other forms of abuse. If you suspect that nursing home staff has used chemical restraints on your elderly loved one, speak with an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer immediately.
Barry Sugarman has been passionate about this kind of work since 1991. He is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to discuss your case. Call or email today to schedule a free consultation at one of the firm’s offices in Marlton or Somerville.
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