Maryland nursing homes have an unwavering duty to provide a safe and secure facility for their residents. However, over the decades since nursing homes have become more and more popular, it has been made clear that not all nursing homes take that responsibility as seriously as they should. Indeed, it seems that most nursing homes prioritize keeping expenses to a minimum over providing a safe home for their residents.
In a frightening new trend, nursing home staff members have begun to drug residents rather than provide them with the intensive care they need. According to a recent news report discussing one instance of over-drugging that occurred in a Texas nursing home, employees engaged in what has come to be known as “drug diversion,” whereby a nursing home employee takes the prescription medication from one patient and administers it to another patient for whom the medication has not been approved.
Aside from violating the basic principles of humanity, the practice of drug diversion presents clear risks to the safety of nursing home residents. For one, the medications that are most often the subject of over-drugging are powerful anti-psychotic medications that can cause serious adverse reactions with other medications. The report mentioned above explains that employees will often administer anti-psychotic drugs to residents whom they believe to be difficult.
According to the article, employees of the nursing home referred to the practice as taking a patient “to China.” When asked, one former employee told reporters that nursing home employees would give residents “any medication that will put a person to sleep.” The motivation behind the practice seems not to be malicious in nature, but instead a way to manage the constant workflow in nursing homes with inadequate staffing to cover the residents’ needs. That being said, drug diversion and the over-drugging of residents cannot be justified.
A Nursing Home’s Liability in the Event of Injury or Death
As noted above, Maryland nursing homes have a duty to ensure the safety of their residents. When this duty is violated by conduct such as drug diversion or over-drugging, the nursing home may be liable for any injuries that result from the employee’s negligence. Anyone who believes that their loved one may be at risk of Maryland nursing home abuse or neglect should reach out to a dedicated nursing home abuse attorney immediately to discuss their options.
Are You in Need of a Maryland Nursing Home Attorney?
If you are concerned about the wellbeing of a loved one in a nursing home, contact the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, we have decades of experience handling nursing home abuse and negligence cases, and we know what it takes to hold the responsible parties accountable. We work closely with a team of industry and medical experts to put together convincing cases on behalf of our clients. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Spotting Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Before It Is Too Late, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published April 20, 2018.
Court Refuses to Enforce Arbitration Agreement in Recent Nursing Home Case, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published April 6, 2018.