Earlier this week we reported on a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against a doctor and hospital accused of implementing unnecessary heart stents. Unfortunately, the problem of unnecessary medical care is not isolated to one location or one type of procedure.
Reuters is reporting on new allegations that nursing home doctors unnecessarily prescribe antibiotics to elderly residents for treatment of possible urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs are very common in nursing homes, affections virtually half of residents at some point in their stay. However researchers found that a shocking 40% of residents ultimately receive drug prescriptions to combat UTIs that they don’t actually have. As a result, those patients saw an increase in their risk of getting a bacterial infection.
The main problem is that doctors should only prescribe the antibiotics when a patient meets certain criteria-but they have been shown to prescribe it well before a nursing home resident exhibits those symptoms. As a result, future bacteria are more likely to become drug resistant, becoming more lethal to the particular patient in the future. For example, one of the wrongly prescribed residents in this study ultimately developed Clostridium difficile (C.Diff), a dangerous bacterium that can ultimately become life threatening.
One doctor involved in the research explained, “We are creating a massive problem that is going to make life incredibly difficult in the future in terms of drug resistance.”
It is unclear yet if a nursing home lawsuit will be filed in this case to hold the negligent physicians accountable for their misconduct. However, it is vital that steps be taken to ensure this problem is addressed in the future.
Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti are well aware of the dangers of inappropriate overmedication. We have worked with many patients and their families who have suffered tremendous loss following mistakes made by negligent use of medical substances. Reasonable care demands that standards safeguards be followed when it comes to use of all medications.
Please contact an Illinois nursing home lawyer if you or someone you know may have been injured because of a drug error.
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