The negative effects of antibiotic misuse include a rise in dangerous, drug-resistant infections, which could be considered an unfortunately common form of nursing home abuse.
Approximately 70 percent of those living in a nursing home receive at least one antibiotic prescription treatment each year. Antibiotics are often prescribed for health issues such as urinary tract infections, cellulitis, and pneumonia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 75 percent of these prescriptions are given incorrectly. Antibiotic treatment may not be necessary, the wrong antibiotics are given for a particular infection, or the wrong dosage or treatment duration is prescribed. Urinary tract infections are the most misdiagnosed infection in nursing homes, with only 25 to 33 percent of patients displaying actual symptoms at the time of diagnosis.
Negative Effects of Antibiotics
Wrongly prescribing antibiotics can lead to dangerous health issues in the elderly population. In the event of antibiotic misuse or overuse, harmful, drug-resistant bacteria which is very difficult to treat can spread among nursing home patients.
Additionally, antibiotic overuse and misuse can lead to serious medication interactions, as well as an increase in cases ofClostridium difficile, commonly known as C. diff, which is a serious intestinal infection that can be deadly in patients ages 65 and up.
Preventing Antibiotic Overuse
To curb antibiotic overuse in nursing homes, professional groups and government agencies are putting new measures in place. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have proposed a change in requirements to help nursing homes track antibiotic prescriptions and curb misuse. The CDC issued new guidelines in September 2015 to assist nursing home facilities in implementing such practices.
If you believe your loved one has been wrongly prescribed antibiotics in a nursing home, contact the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at The Eichholz Law Firm today.