There are many factors that influence how and at which times nursing home residents are more susceptible to injuries. In addition to understaffing, negligence, and abuse, falls are a very common source of injury in nursing home situations. Some conditions lead to an increased likelihood of injury due to falling. One of these conditions is the use of SSRIs by residents.
SSRIs, or selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors, are prescription medications commonly used to treat symptoms of depression and other anxiety disorders. Recent research has also shown that the use of SSRIs may be linked to increased risk of falls in nursing homes from residents that are taking the drug. A study performed in the Netherlands, taking data from over two years and 248 nursing home residents, resulted in some interesting findings. According to the study, a total of 683 falls were experienced by 61.5 percent% of the nursing home residents. This data, looked at a year's span, results in a fall incidence of 2.9 falls/person/year. 220 of these falls resulted in injury or death. The investigators also found that the risk of having a fall resulting in injury was three times higher for residents taking SSRIs than for those who didn't take them. This particular statistic was found for both genders of a wide variety of ages. This fall-related risk of injury increased further when the residents were also given sedatives, such as sleeping pills.
It is important to monitor your loved one's medication, including type and dosage, in order to help minimize the risk of injury due to falls. If your loved one has recently fallen in a nursing home setting and is now seriously injured, and if you feel that the nursing home has neglected your loved one, it may be time to seek legal assistance. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury attorney specializing in nursing home abuse and negligence. For more information on him and his firm, please visit our website or call us at (814) 946-4100.