Opioids Involved In Nursing Home Deaths
It seems every day we continue to hear of overdoses and tragic deaths from the opioid epidemic facing our nation. This drug abuse can also create a medical malpractice case when patients being provided home care or treatment at residential facilities are failing to receive the correct pain management treatment. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that, “Opioid medications are associated with a large number of adverse drug events in the nursing home. Initiating the use of long-acting opioids (LAOs) in opioid-naïve individuals (those who have never taken opioids) has been highlighted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a potentially dangerous practice.”
Approximately 25 percent of deaths in the United States occur in long-term care facilities – a care setting in which: 1) there is a critical shortage of licensed nurses to properly administer medications, and 2) pain is common and often poorly treated. In 2016, a 70-year-old nursing home patient from Kent County and long-time chronic pain sufferer, died from a mixture of fentanyl and oxycodone — both powerful painkillers.
Drug Deaths Outnumber Traffic Fatalities
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), overdoses of prescription painkillers like opioids account for more deaths each year than cocaine and heroine combined and have more than tripled in the past 20 years, killing more than 15,500 people in the United States in 2009 alone. Our country has also seen a 300 percent increase in the prescription and sale of opioid painkillers since 1999.
Reports coming out of cities like Chicago and several legal cases across the country have shown us that at times medical workers including doctors, not trained in pain management, are prescribing too many doses of these powerful drugs or prescribing them alongside other drugs causing dangerous outcomes for nursing home or residential facility patients. Medical malpractices like these often lead to addictions, overdoses, or deaths that could have been prevented like in the case of the Kent County nursing home resident mentioned earlier.
Medical Malpractice Is a Form of Negligence
Medical Malpractice negligence does not have to come from a doctor. Any number of health care workers can be held responsible for committing medical malpractice, including physician assistants, nurses, and interns. When filing a malpractice lawsuit, family members are able to hold people and organizations responsible for a loved ones death due to negligence, especially when opioid mismanagement was suspected. Nursing homes, and its individual medical professionals, can be held liable for negligent injuries and deaths that occur while a patient is in their facility.
We Come To You
We understand it can be a difficult time for your family to travel to a lawyer. With offices throughout the State of Michigan, the team at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. can come to you to learn more about your medical malpractice and nursing home concerns. Our team of Michigan nursing home and medical malpractice lawyers is ready to fight to ensure you and your family receives fair compensation and justice.
Please contact us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free phone consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case.