How Do Restraints Result In Damage To Nursing Home Residents?
Many people have heard about the number of nursing home abuse incidents that have occurred throughout Tampa, and the rest of the state. Much of the time, people become focused on the understaffing problems in nursing homes, and how overworked employees lead to unintentional neglect. Hearing about the power nursing home staff members have to restrain their residents in an abusive manner is much less common.
Under Florida law, physical restraints cannot be used unless they are ordered by a doctor or other eligible healthcare worker. Likewise, chemical restraints can only be used when they are in accordance with a dosage for a specific patient. Unfortunately, nursing home administrators and staff members do not always comply with these laws and it results in serious harm. Below, our Tampa nursing home abuse attorney explains the dangers of restraint use.
The Use of Restraints Causes Physical Harm
Senior citizens can suffer serious physical harm when restraints are used. Physical restraints, such as straps, can be secured too tightly, causing bruising, broken bones, and even chafing of the skin that leads to serious infections. Due to the fact that nursing homes often use restraints to make sure a resident stays in one place, they can also result in bed sores if the resident is left in the restraints for long periods of time and is unable to reposition themselves.
One of the saddest parts of restraint use is that it severely limits a resident’s mobility. In some cases, residents cannot move at all when they are being restrained. This lack of movement can result in muscle atrophy, or a loss of muscle tissue. Muscle atrophy is extremely dangerous for nursing home residents, as it can increase the duration of hospital stays, result in exercise limitation, and contribute to a poor quality of life.
It is not only physical restraints that cause harm. Chemical restraints, such as sedatives, can also cause serious harm. If the dosage of a chemical restraint is too high, residents can become very sick and sometimes, even overdose.
The Use of Restraints Causes Psychological Harm
Nursing home staff members often use physical and chemical restraints to unfairly punish residents or to control them. Although the restraints may free up some time for a worker, it is a serious affront to a patient’s dignity. Residents in restraints often cannot move or function on their own and so, they may have to continually ask for help. Sometimes, those requests may go unanswered, leaving a resident feeling helpless, hopeless, and uncared for. Afterward, residents may also have nightmares or flashbacks about when they were in restraints, which is a sign of post-traumatic stress.
Restraints do not have to be used regularly or even for a long period of time in order for psychological injuries to occur. Even just one incident can leave residents feeling disrespected, unsupported, and ashamed.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Tampa Can Help Your Family
If your loved one was restrained in a nursing home, you may have legal options for recovering compensation. At Kohn Law, our Tampa nursing home abuse attorney can advise you of what those are and help you claim the full and fair damages you deserve. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.