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Does Taking Diuretics Increase the Risk of Massachusetts Fall Accidents at Boston Nursing Homes?

According to data released at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting, nursing home patients who start taking a diuretic or that up their dose of this drug are at greater risk of becoming involved in a fall accident. Per the study, the chance of falling was upped by over 2-fold within a day of the new prescription or dosage change.

Dr. Sarah D. Berry, who teaches at Harvard Medical School and the Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, and her colleagues conducted a study involving 1,181 long-term care residents at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. The patients had fallen for the first time at least 15 days that after they were admitted to the Boston nursing home. Patients under 60 were not part of the study.

Diuretics help remove fluids from the body through urination. Some side effects from taking diuretics include dehydration, potassium deficiencies, frequent urination, muscle cramps, severe weakness or tiredness, blurred vision, dizziness, increased perspiration, headaches, severe, ringing in the ears, skin rash, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities, and unusual bleeding or bruising.

Unfortunately, many sick people and elderly seniors are already at risk of falling. If, in fact, this drug is increasing the chances of a Boston fall accident, then assisted living facilities and physicians must exercise caution as to who to administer the medication to while providing adequate supervision so that residents taking diuretics don’t fall. Failure to provide this type of care or supervision can be grounds for a Boston nursing home neglect case.

Diuretics May Boost Fall Risk in Nursing Home Residents, Medscape, May 17, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew Senior Life

Diuretics, Mayo Clinic

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Preventing Massachusetts Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Are Assisted Living Facilities Doing Enough When Screening Employees Before Hiring Them?, Boston Injury Lawyer, April 28, 2011
Revere Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Family of Mental Health Counselor Allegedly Murdered by Patient at Massachusetts Group Home, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, April 21, 2011
Threat of a Massachusetts Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawsuit May Not Be Enough to Improve Facility Care, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 31, 2011
Fall accidents in the sick and the elderly can cause health complications, slow recovery, infection, and even death. An experienced Boston injury lawyer can help you determine whether you have grounds for a Massachusetts nursing home abuse case.