Montgomery County Nursing Home Restraint Injury Lawyers
Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Represent Victims Suffering from Restraint Injuries in Montgomery County and Bucks County, PA
The use of restraints in Lansdale, PA nursing homes is a highly controversial issue. Under some circumstances, either chemical or physical restraints may be appropriate as a temporary solution to help keep the nursing home resident safe, especially in situations where the resident is unlikely to comply with the nursing home staff’s attempts at care. Unfortunately, many nursing homes have abused the use of restraints in order to avoid the work necessary to properly care for residents—in other words, restraints are often used for non-medical purposes which can actually cause the resident to suffer additional harm.
Loved One Suffered From A Nursing Home Restraint Injury And Have Questions? We Can Help, Tell Us What Happened.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., our team of knowledgeable and compassionate nursing home abuse prevention lawyers are dedicated to enforcing the right of nursing home residents to be free from restraints, whether those restraints are physical or chemical. The improper use of restraints is a serious form of nursing home abuse, and if you or a loved one have suffered nursing home restraint injuries in Lansdale, Ambler or elsewhere in Southeastern Pennsylvania, our lawyers are here to help. You may be legally entitled to financial compensation for the injuries you have suffered, as well as for the pain and suffering, depression and future functional decline often caused by nursing home restraint injuries. We are here to help hold the nursing home accountable for all harm that you have suffered, so call or contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
The Legality of Restraints in PA Nursing Homes
It is legal for nursing homes in Pennsylvania to use restraints under certain conditions, but in order to reduce the potential that these restraints will cause additional harm, Pennsylvania has enacted regulations designed to ensure that restraints are only used under appropriate circumstances in a nursing home setting. To legally use restraints on a nursing home resident, the nursing home must:
- Obtain a signed and dated order from a physician specifying the type of restraint that is recommended for use on a particular resident,
- Never use locked restraints,
- Ensure that the physician’s order specifically detail the reasons why the use of restraints is recommended,
- Reevaluate the use of restraints at least every month (and preferably more often) to ensure that the restraints are still necessary,
- Disengage any physical restraints on a regular basis to ensure the resident has a chance to move around and to prevent injuries.
Under no circumstances can restraints be used simply to allow the staff to avoid providing the care that a resident may need.
Dedicated Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Fight to Hold PA Nursing Homes Accountable for Serious Consequences of Restraint Injuries
A wide variety of different forms and types of restraints are available for use by nursing home staff members—some of these restraints are obvious and overt, other types of restraint are much more subtle, but can cause injuries that are equally severe. Nursing home restraint injuries can be caused by:
- The use of straps or other devices to tie the resident down,
- Brakes on a wheelchair to prevent motion,
- Bars on a wheelchair or chair that prevent the resident from standing up,
- Tucking sheets in so tightly that the resident is unable to move,
- Keeping the resident locked in his or her room,
- The use of drugs, such as sedatives or anti-depressants, to keep the resident sedated or compliant.
Despite the fact that nursing home restraints have a number of valid uses that can temporarily serve to keep the resident safe from harm, such as suffering a fall or wandering away from the nursing home, the use of restraints is only appropriate when medically necessary. In other words, the convenience of the nursing home staff is not a valid reason to use restraints, which can cause serious injuries such as:
- Increased risk of infection,
- Bruises and lacerations,
- Bed sores,
- Muscle atrophy,
- Decreased bone density,
- Cognitive decline,
- Psychological trauma and depression,
- Loss of dignity.
Call Our Skilled Nursing Home Restraint Injury Lawyers for a Free Initial Consultation Today
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., we believe that both the physical and psychological injuries caused by the improper use of nursing home restraints is unconscionable. We are passionate about getting justice if you or a loved one have suffered nursing home restraint injuries in Lansdale or elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Call or contact us online today so that we can guide you through the entire legal process of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Restraint Injury Claims
The signs that your loved one is suffering injuries because of the improper use of nursing home restraints can vary based upon the type of restraints involved. Some types of physical restraint will cause bruising or even lacerations if your loved one attempts to fight the restraint. Increased infections or bed sores can be a sign that your loved one is being confined to bed inappropriately. In other cases, changes in mood are the most significant indicators that your loved one is suffering from restraint injuries—the use of restraints can cause a significant loss of dignity, which can lead to depression, weight loss and other serious side effects. When chemical restraints are used, your loved one may seem groggy, confused or display other significant changes in personality.
While restraints may be a temporary fix, they are almost never a long-term solution—which is why Pennsylvania law requires a doctor’s recommendation in addition to ongoing reevaluation of whether the restraints remain appropriate. In many cases, extra care on the part of the nursing home staff can effectively prevent your loved one from suffering from falls or becoming agitated. Simple activities or additional companionship can solve some problems, and appropriate changes in a resident’s medications may also help. In cases where restraints are necessary, they should be administered correctly in accordance with a doctor’s orders to avoid any type of resulting injury.