Medicaid nursing home residents get an unlimited number of prescribed medications. Many take 10 or more
with terrible side effects.
These medications are reviewed by a "pharmacy consultant" who usually works for or is associated with
the company that sells the stuff. His recommendations are given to the administrator, director of nurses, and the doctor. None
of them have to follow or consider the report.
The resident "responsible party" does not get the report.
SO: It is important to request a list of medications so you can check them out either from looking at WebMD - Better information. Better health or with your friendly pharmacist if the commercial's on TV are true.
Each month, nearly one out of every 10 nursing home residents suffers a medication-related injury, according
to a study by Massachusetts researchers that suggests the problem is far more widespread than previously estimated.
study found that 73 percent of the most severe injuries -- including internal bleeding and death -- were preventable, along
with many of the others. The most common problems were confusion, oversedation, hallucinations, or bleeding due to prescribing
errors or failure to carefully monitor patients for side effects. The researchers found that warfarin, a blood thinner, and
antipsychotic drugs caused the most problems
Dr. Jerry Gurwitz, A professor at the University of Massachusetts
said relatives of nursing home patients need to be alert to possible medication errors.
often the most capable of recognizing that there has been a change in the status of their relative," he said. "The best way
to do that is to know what's going on, ask a lot of questions, and understand what medications their relatives are on, why
they're on them, and what the side effects are."