A recent article published in the Journal of American Medical Directors points to a serious problem in the way the medical establishment is treating certain conditions in elderly nursing home residents.
Diuretics are substances that actively encourage the body to produce urine. They are often used in elderly nursing home residents to combat arterial hypertension, heart failure and renal disease.
The downside to prescribing diuretic drugs is that their use may lead to conditions like Hypokalemia which is known to cause heart fluctuations, muscle weakness and sudden deaths. It can also cause Hyponatremia, a condition that causes brain damage among other symptoms.
The article claims that prior studies have wrongly interpreted results that have created an epidemic of unnecessary diuretic prescriptions.
Diuretics, according to the article’s author, should be the third choice in terms of treating hypertension. Only if other standard treatments have failed should they be considered to treat hypertension.
This is far from the first time that the medical establishment has been accused of over prescribing medications to elderly nursing home residents.
Last year, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement condemning the practice of prescribing antipsychotic drugs to difficult nursing home residents in order to calm them. A separate study by the British Medical Journal indicated that nursing home fatalities showed a substantial rise with antipsychotic drug use.
ave a loved one in a nursing home, be certain that you keep up to date with all prescriptions, and ask a doctor or pharmacist about the possible side effects of the medications. Medications save lives, but they can also have dangerous side effects.
If you think your nursing home resident has been given prescription drugs in error, contact the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle. At my law offices we have Chicago nursing home lawyers with the experience to manage all aspects of your medication error lawsuit, and we never charge a fee unless we win a recovery for you.