Posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at 5:24 am
As of 2016, over 1.3 million Americans live in nursing homes. Nearly 93,000 of them reside in one of Texas’ over 1,200 facilities. It’s a sad fact that of those 1,235 facilities, fully 25% have been officially cited for neglect or abuse, some of them right here in the San Antonio area.
What Is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect is, put simply, when a nursing home fails to perform their expected duty of care and causes harm by not meeting the patient’s needs. Examples include failure to keep the patient clean, failure to meet medical or nutritional needs, or even failure to provide adequate social contact. Nursing home neglect does not need to be intentional. Neglect can result from situations in which overworked staff are assigned more patients than they can care for, or when poorly trained staff are expected to perform duties outside of their capabilities.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Nursing Home Neglect?
If you’re concerned that a loved one in a San Antonio area nursing home was the victim of neglect, keep an eye out for the following warning signs:
– Unexplained bruises or abrasions. These can be a sign of rough or too hasty handling.
– Pressure or bed sores, which may be an indication that your loved one was left to sit or lay in one position for too long.
– Weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration may be indications that your loved one has not had their dietary and hydration needs met.
– Loss of mobility or physical capability. This can be a sign that your loved one isn’t receiving the exercise that he or she needs to stay healthy.
– Poor hygiene. If it’s apparent that your loved one is not having their basic hygiene needs such as dental or personal cleanliness met, that is an excellent sign that they are not receiving adequate care.
– Change in personality, withdrawing from social contact, depression. If your loved one undergoes a marked change in their personality, that may be an indication of social neglect.
What To Do If You Suspect Neglect
If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect in the San Antonio area, you can take the following steps to improve the chances of a positive outcome:
1. Stay calm. The thought of someone harming a loved one is enough to make most anyone emotional, but it’s important to stay calm in order to better advocate for your loved one.
2. Take notes. Document everything.
3. Advocate. Stay calm, but don’t be afraid to discuss the issues you’re having with staff in order to extract the level of care that your loved one deserves.
4. Get help. Sometimes the situation requires more than you can give on your own, and you need a helping hand. For anyone living in or around the San Antonio area, Dr. Louis Patino is here to help get you the compensation that you and your loved one deserve. Visit https://injury-lawyer-sanantonio.com/practice-areas/ today, and see if Dr. Louis Patino can give you the help that you need.
Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2017 at 3:02 pm
Nuedexta, a drug manufactured by the Southern California based company Avanir, has been heavily promoted as a means of dealing with a number of neurological disorders, especially pseudobulbar affect (PBA). However, despite the drug having FDA approval, it has been implicated in 51 deaths, 113 hospitalizations and over 1,000 reports of adverse effects. Even during clinical trials before the drug was cleared for release by the FDA, it was implicated in 3 deaths.
Despite PBA being relatively uncommon amongst the elderly in nursing homes together with doubts about the synergistic effects of Nuedexta when taken with other more commonly taken medications, the drug has been aggressively promoted to nursing homes and doctors.
Now, following a CNN investigation into Avanir and Nuedexta, the leading non-profit organization that supports those with Alzheimer’s and their families the Alzheimer’s association, has curtailed funding donations from the company. Los Angeles City is also carrying out its own probe into the use of the drug in L.A. nursing homes and the way the drug is promoted.
Avanir has only recently won a patent war with its competitors over generic versions of the drug and it is thought that the aggressive marketing is linked to an attempt by the company to balance its books after spending up big in the court battles.
The main criticism of Avanir is that it is winning influence amongst doctors and nursing home management by providing cash incentives if they help their organizations purchase the drug. In one survey, it was shown that of the prescriptions made by doctors, over half of them had already been given financial inducements by Avanir.
The tactic seems to have been working as the sale of Nuedexta has increased by some 400% over the last few years since it was released. In 2012, for example, a mere 2.83 million pills were prescribed, but by 2016, nearly 14 million Nuedexta pills were prescribed.
Much of the money made available for purchase of Nuedexta comes from the federal government through Medicare payments.
No clear evidence that Nuedexta is needed in nursing homes
Although there is no detailed evidence to show what the use of Nuedexta is like in San Antonio nursing homes is like, there is nothing to indicate that Texas nursing home managements have taken a more cautious line over purchasing the drug, despite the fact that there is no clear evidence that Nuedexta does any elderly nursing home residents any good.
In fact, the evidence elsewhere is that the drug could be doing more harm than good, unless the residents it is provided for suffer from both dementia as well as PBA. It has been reported that PBA is not common in any nursing home. Nursing home residents have been reported to have a higher incidence of falling over, confusion and dizzy spells.
The concern with Nuedexta’s use in nursing homes, in addition to the unproven benefits for residents, is that its application will be poorly carried out by untrained staff who are a feature in many nursing homes.
Avanir has also been accused of deliberately targeting advocacy groups for dementia and Alzheimer’s even though there is no evidence that the drug it makes has any effects on these afflictions.
If you have an elderly relative in a San Antonio nursing home or residential care facility it may be worth asking the management at the facility whether it is using Nuedexta and if it is whether it is one of the medications being given to your relative. Does your relative suffer from PBA, or show signs of dementia? Find out whether the relative has been exhibiting any of the characteristic symptoms of unnecessary use of Nuedexta, such as dizziness, confusion and falling over. There is no need for your relative to be given Nuedexta unless he or she has been suffering from PBA. Talk to a nursing home abuse attorney at Patino Law Office in San Antonio to find out what your legal options are.