Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Overuse of Antibiotics in Nursing Homes

Published on Nov 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

I’ve written before about nursing homes that over prescribe painkillers and mood altering drugs to control and sedate their residents. Now it turns out that regular antibiotics are also being overused – and the US government is trying to do something about it.

The White House has issued an Executive Order addressing the problem of over-exposure to antibiotics. Nursing homes aren’t the only ones over prescribing. Doctors and hospitals are part of the problem as well.

Overdosing of Antibiotics

However, nursing homes deserve special focus. It’s estimated that about 250,000 nursing home residents suffer at least one infection per year, and nearly 2/3 of all residents will be prescribed every year. The most common infections in nursing homes are urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and skin infections like bedsores.

According to the Centers of Disease Control, the issue is not academic. The CDC reports that 25 – 75% of the nursing home antibiotic prescriptions are not appropriate. Overuse leads to the development of infections, and resistance to antibiotics. Over 25,000 nursing home residents will develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and many will die from those infections.

Treating the Root Cause of Infections

The good news is that many of the underlying causes of common nursing home infections can be prevented. This initiative could turn out to be a great opportunity for nursing homes to rethink how they provide care. The answer may lie in paying more attention to individual residents – and it may not have to increase costs because of the savings that could come from such a change.

For example, the use of catheters is a primary cause of urinary tract infections. The CDC has already suggested that nursing homes should reduce catheter use. Reducing catheter use and go hand-in-hand with keeping patients dry, which can prevent bedsores.

If caregivers can get to know when a resident needs to go to the bathroom, and make sure that adult diapers are changed quickly, there will be less time taken up to change bed sheets, less time cleaning up the resident, and less need for use of catheters.

The Executive Order forms a task force to reduce antibiotic use in medicine as well as in farming practices. Nursing homes will be required to create Antibiotic Stewardship Programs that monitor and report antibiotic use. The goal is also to reduce indiscriminate use of antibiotics when they’re not needed, or powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics are used when more targeted drugs are available.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

Veteran Malpractice: Filing a VA Tort Claim

The idea of a medical malpractice case may be familiar to many of us, but what happens if someone is injured at a VA hospital? As employees of the federal government, those who work at VA hospitals are subject to a different set of rules than those who work at public or private civilian hospitals. […]

Read More

What You Need to Know About Business Litigation and Contingency Fees

If your business has ever been involved in a legal matter, you may be surprised to hear the two phrases together: business litigation and contingency fees. Traditionally, it has been more common to associate a contingency fee model with personal injury law involving individual parties rather than businesses. But this is no longer always the […]

Read More

Signs of PTSD in Military Service Members

It’s estimated that up to one-third of military service members suffer from PTSD. PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that can develop following a traumatic event. This usually means an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury, or abuse. People who have seen combat, witnessed death, or experienced a life-threatening situation […]

Read More