The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 gave all nursing home residents the right to be free from restraints when the restraints are used for disciplinary purposes or for the convenience of the nursing home corporation. Restraints can be either chemical (i.e., medication designed to make the resident passive) or physical. Regardless of the type of restraint sought, they must be ordered by a doctor. Restraints used without a physician’s order are illegal. Contact our St Louis. nursing home abuse lawyer if you suspect this is happening to your loved one in a nursing home.
Chemical restraints are usually anti psychotic drugs that are used by the nursing home to control individuals who suffer from dementia or anxiety. For a nursing home focused primarily on reducing its budget and operating on minimal staff than providing quality care, chemically restrained residents are easier to control and require less care than active residents. In fact, staffing shortages are a leading culprit in explaining why some nursing homes choose to restrain residents.
Classifying Dangerous Bed Restraints in Nursing Homes
A physical restraint is usually a device placed next to or around a resident to limit or eliminate movement by the resident. One of the most common examples of a physical restraint is the side rail on the bed. Designed to prevent a resident from falling out of bed, side rails can sometimes do more harm than good. Some of the most common injuries with side rails are falls when an unmonitored resident attempts to crawl over the side rail or asphyxiation when a resident becomes entrapped between the mattress and the side rail. Nursing homes are supposed to evaluate residents for these known dangers and supervise accordingly. When they choose not to, the resident is at great risk for serious injury or death.
If you believe that your family member was injured or died because of a restraint at a nursing home, call the Terry Law Firm immediately at (314) 593-2438. We have handled several cases involving wrongful death as a result of restraints. We will talk with you and review your case at no cost to you.