Phoenix Nursing Home Restraint Injury Attorneys
Under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, staff can only physically or chemically restrain nursing home residents to protect the restrained individual or other nursing home residents. Additionally, a doctor must order and fully document this procedure. It is against the law for the nursing home staff to restrain residents as a form of punishment or just for convenience. Despite this, workers in these facilities continue to restrain residents illegally and unnecessarily, which often leads to injury.
Physical restraints commonly used in nursing homes include:
- Wrist and ankle restraints
- Hand mitts
- Bed rails
- Vests tied to beds or chairs
Nursing home injuries often occur when residents fall while trying to climb over bed rails. When a resident tries to get out of a bed with bed rails used in conjunction with other restraints, potential injuries include strangulation and suffocation.
In nursing homes, psychoactive drugs are the most common types of chemical restraints given to residents who are uncooperative or restless. Using these types of drugs can cause a patient to:
- Become confused
- Become disoriented
- Be unable to carry out the tasks of daily living
- Become agitated
- Experience an overall decrease in quality of life
While restraints may be necessary and legal in some instances, ideally they would never be needed. The following are some alternatives to restraints that nursing home staff should consider:
- Beds lower to the floor
- Non-slip rubber mats next to beds
- Concave mattresses
- Reducing noise levels
- Soothing music and calm voices
- Make sure lighting isn’t too dim or too bright
- Distraction and diversion therapies
- Validation therapy
- Reminiscence therapy
- Snoezelen therapy
- Alarms on beds and chairs to alert staff when a patient gets up
Except in an emergency, such as when the patient or another person’s life is in danger, restraints cannot be used without the patient’s permission. In addition, a restraint may only be used if the doctor has ordered it to treat medical symptoms, no other alternatives are available, and the restraint helps the resident function at his or her highest level.
All other times, physical or chemical restraint is illegal, immoral, and dangerous.
If you suspect that nursing home staff used chemical or physical restraints on a patient improperly, take action. The Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., will not only fight to make sure you receive compensation, but will also help safeguard the rights of your loved one and other vulnerable nursing home residents. Contact The Husband and Wife Law Team at (602) 267-1280, right away, for a free case evaluation.