A study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine claims antibiotics are generally overused in nursing homes in Canada and elsewhere. As part of the study, researchers reportedly analyzed prescription antibiotic use data collected in 2010 for nearly 67,000 seniors over age 66 at 630 skilled nursing and other long-term care facilities in Ontario. The study authors stated although most bacterial infections may be successfully treated with a course of antibiotics that lasts one week or less, nearly half of all such prescriptions provided to the elderly nursing home residents examined exceeded seven days. In addition, about one-fifth of doctors allegedly prescribed a longer course of antibiotic treatment than expected based upon the severity and type of a resident’s bacterial infection.
Researchers reportedly believe that antibiotic prescribing patterns in the long-term care facilities analyzed were based on physician preferences rather than patient symptoms and the extent of infection. The study authors expressed concern that the rate of antibiotics overuse in nursing homes may contribute to future drug resistance. According to researchers, antibiotic stewardship measures should be implemented at long-term care facilities in order to reduce costs, potential complications, and drug resistance.
Unfortunately, nursing facility residents are reportedly often over-medicated. Although receiving too many antibiotics may seem harmless, it can spell disaster for long-term care patients. Nursing home residents normally live in close proximity to one another. This means dangerous antibiotic-resistant and other bacteria can spread easily in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Nursing home employees must diligently use effective sanitation measures in order to maintain the health of facility patients. In Illinois, nursing home workers are required by law to ensure that simple precautionary measures designed to control the spread of communicable diseases and other illness are used. Regrettably, too many direct care workers reportedly fail to follow simple procedures that are necessary to protect the health of residents. This can have a tragic impact on skilled nursing facility patients. If your elderly loved one died after he or she contracted a preventable disease at a nursing home located in Illinois, you should contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer.
Give the caring attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 924-7575 today if your senior or disabled loved one died as a result of the level of care he or she received at an Illinois nursing home. Our knowledgeable Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are available 24 hours per day, every day of the week to help you protect the rights of your elderly friends and relatives. For a free consultation with a dedicated advocate, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
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Study: Antibiotic Overuse Common in Long-Term Care Facilities, by Sabrina Rodak, Becker’s Clinical Quality & Infection Control