The son of an Arkansas man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home in Mississippi, alleging that the facility overused sedatives. In the nursing home abuse claim, the man alleges that his father died after the nursing home over-prescribed antipsychotics such as Seroquel, Risperdal and other medications.
If you or a loved one have suffered from nursing home abuse or a family member has passed away to the negligence of a nursing home, contact an experienced Mississippi wrongful death lawyer to learn more about your rights.
Son Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The claim was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on October 2, 2013 and alleges that the plaintiff’s father passed away due to the negligence of the nursing home where he resided. According to allegations raised by the plaintiff and his Mississippi wrongful death lawyer, the man’s father was prescribed a drug cocktail of Haldol, Seroquel, Risperdal and Ativan as sedatives until the man was later hospitalized with severe respiratory complications. Healthcare employees determined that the man had been oversedated.
The plaintiff also alleges that the medications were used as a form of chemical restraint, designed to calm his father, who had previously experienced period of anger and confusion and who had been diagnosed with dementia.
As a result of the overuse of these medications, the plaintiff alleges that his father suffered respiratory failure, septic shock and fell into a coma. Physicians diagnosed the man with healthcare-associated pneumonia, acute renal failure, acute respiratory distress and noted signs of malnourishment. He suffered cardiac arrest on March 24, 2012 and later died.
Concerns Prevalent Over Antipsychotics
Use of antipsychotics such as Seroquel and Risperdal as a way to sedate patients suffering from dementia is considered by many to be a form of nursing home abuse. Federal health officials have warned nursing facilities against administering these medications to dementia patients since the drugs do not treat the condition and can increase the risk of death. If you have lost a loved one due to oversedation, consider seeking legal counsel from a Mississippi wrongful death lawyer to learn more about your rights.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a report in May 2011 on the misuse of antipsychotics in nursing homes. The documentation indicated that dangerous and off-label use of the drugs was widespread. The data found that 14% of 2.1 million elderly nursing home residents in the country were prescribed these medications at least one time, and medical records show that 83% of those medications were given for reasons not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Additionally, 88% of these “off-label” uses were for conditions that the agency cautioned against in black box warning labels. Not only are these antipsychotics allegedly dangerous, but they are also expensive, costing $7.6 billion in prescription reimbursements in 2011.
Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, also released a report about nursing home abuse and these drugs, warning that the use of antipsychotics in dementia care could lead to unnecessary sedation. The group urges families to take action to ensure their loved ones have not been poorly treated.
Injured? A Mississippi Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
If someone you love wrongfully died while in the care of a nursing home, consider contacting a Mississippi wrongful death lawyer to learn more about your rights. At Attorney Group for Mississippi, we will provide you with a free consultation and answer your questions to the best of our ability. If we feel that you have a valid nursing home abuse claim, we will connect you with one of our affiliated Mississippi wrongful death lawyers who will handle your case.