TN Nursing Home Law Blog Follow-Ups: Madison Manor Sentencing and Nursing Home Restraints

Following up on our 2009 law blog on Neglect in Kentucky Nursing Homes, a nursing home nurse’s aide formerly employed at the Madison Manor in Richmond, KY pled guilty Monday to reckless abuse and neglect of an adult. These acts were caught on a camera hidden by relatives in their loved one’s nursing home room at Richmond Health and Rehabilitation Complex.

Lamb, the second nurse’s aide at Madison Manor to plead guilty, was sentenced to 12 months in the Madison County Jail, a sentence which may be postponed or commuted if the defendant cooperates in pending cases against other former employees at the Kentucky nursing home.

In other nursing home abuse and neglect news, ABC World News ran a report last week titled Nursing Home Patients Killed by ‘Chemical Restraints’ to bring attention to chemical restraint use in nursing homes. California Attorney General Jerry Brown (previously making an appearance in the Tennessee Employment Law Blog) is pursing charges of elder abuse against three nursing home officials who could face up to 11 years in prison.

As we’ve reported in previous TN Law Blogs on nursing home restraints, leaving nursing home residents unattended in restraints, whether physical or chemical, can result in severe health consequences. According to the nursing home lawsuit against Kern Valley Nursing Home, residents were left drooling, dehydrated, and dangerously thin from chemical restraints.

Further investigation suggests the chemical restraints used against nursing home patients were unwarranted and in three cases led to death, according to the nursing home lawsuit. Reasons for chemical restraints cited by the lawsuit include one resident staring at the nursing home director in a way she did not like and, for another resident, for throwing a carton of milk. Even worse, the director charged with using powerful anti-seizure drugs to chemically restrain nursing home residents was fired once before from another nursing home for overmedicating those in her care.

The ABC report goes on to state the unfortunate facts regarding chemical restraintsnursing home abuse lawyers know all to well, such as the estimate that 25% of nursing home patients are given anti-psychotics, a figure which suggests chemical restraints are replacing the now all but illegal physical restraints. The report also cites a FDA official who estimates chemical restraints kill 15,000 patients of nursing homes every year.

Some antipsychotics used for their off-label (unapproved by FDA) chemical restraint side-effects include:

    • Seroquel
  • In addition to death and the effects of restraints such as bedsores, such uses of antipsychotics can cause also cause strokes in elderly patients with dementia.

    This Tennessee Law Blog brought to you by Attorney Jim Higgins and my Nashville, TN nursing home abuse legal team.

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