This simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient to treat either one or various conditions is called polypharmacy.
The medical industry has yet to define precisely how many medications constitutes an instance of polypharmacy. Commonly, the number used to describe this practice is four or more medications.
Polypharmacy occurs commonly in nursing homes, sometimes healthily. But polypharmacy can quickly be done incorrectly, and the consequences for elderly nursing home residents can be devastating.
If your loved one suffered from the effects of negligent polypharmacy in Phoenix, AZ at his/her nursing home, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Call Zanes Law at 602-999-9999. Our polypharmacy lawyers in Phoenix will do everything from A to Z to see that you recover all damages related to this negligent practice.
Often, the elderly residents at a nursing home suffer from conditions that require the residents to take medication—sometimes even several medications. When prescribed and administered properly, this type of polypharmacy is fine, even essential.
Complications can arise, however, when multiple medications as the number of drugs increases, or when the medications are administered in unhealthy combinations. In this sense, polypharmacy presents a problem in any patient. With the elderly, the risks are exacerbated by the fact that this age group tends to suffer from a higher number of health conditions, thereby increasing the potential for adverse effects.
Research published in the American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy revealed a 40 percent incidence of polypharmacy among nursing home residents. For the purpose of this study, polypharmacy was defined as the concurrent use of nine or more medications.
According to this 2004 study, the drugs most frequently reported for nursing home residents receiving polypharmacy were as follows:
When multiple, conflicting medications are administered to nursing home residents, they can suffer serious complications, many of which are life-threatening.
The following list represents the wide range of potential polypharmacy effects—symptoms that something has gone wrong at your loved one’s nursing home:
If your loved one has experienced some of the above symptoms, but you are not sure that polypharmacy caused them, consider signs within the nursing home that this practice is occurring.
Some possible red flags include:
Arizona’s laws on nursing homes require that nursing home managers have procedures in place for preventing, responding to, and reporting medication mistakes as well as unexpected reactions to drugs.
The law further requires that a medical practitioner reviews each nursing home resident’s medication regimen and method of administration. The facility’s manager should also ensure that medication is administered.
When an Arizona nursing home neglects to uphold the above safety measures, as mandated by law, you can hold the facility and/or its staff liable for the damages that result. Zanes Law will represent you in this legal action, and a polypharmacy lawyer in Phoenix, AZ will do so aggressively to get the results you deserve.
When we admit our loved ones into a nursing home, we do so with the expectation that the staff is trained, capable, and willing to do what is required to keep their residents safe.
We expect the following:
A failure to uphold these expectations constitutes negligence, as the nursing home has breached a duty of care to its residents. In these cases, the nursing home staff may exhibit their negligence by:
When residents suffer some harm as a result of this breach of duty, the staff and/or the nursing home can be held liable for this suffering.
The nursing home, in particular, is responsible for the proper training of staff, a lack of which can result in mistakes being made. Errors also occur when a facility is understaffed or when staff is not supervised—both of which constitute negligence on the part of the nursing home.
At Zanes Law, our team holds nursing home abuse in great disdain. A polypharmacy lawyer in Phoenix, AZ will aggressively fight for the rights of your loved one, and for your right to be compensated for the nursing home’s negligence in its use of polypharmacy.
Our firm works on a contingency basis, so we will not charge you unless and until you are compensated. Call Zanes Law today for a free, no-obligation case review: 602-999-9999.