Even though the elderly are at risk of major complications from Covid- 19, most nursing homes around the country used alarmingly low levels of antiviral drugs that are proven to fight symptoms of the deadly disease on their residents, during the pandemic. The failure to use appropriate medications could lead to a larger number of malpractice claims.
While the Covid- 19 pandemic ravaged large portions of the metro Atlanta region, especially in the above-65 age category, efforts were made to deliver more life- saving antiviral medications to these sections of the population. Use of the antiviral drugs was higher in nursing homes than in the general community. However, a new study finds that a large number of nursing homes administered very low levels of the drugs.
In fact, shockingly, the study found that as many as 40% of nursing homes did not use antiviral drugs as of the end of 2022. The use of antiviral drugs in these facilities was low even as the pandemic gathered steam, and continued to remain low even after the medications were approved as oral drugs. In fact, according to the researchers, residents with Covid- 19 in only about 18% of the nursing homes were treated with antiviral medications.
An even more disturbing finding was that nursing homes with more numbers of non – white patients as well as patients on Medicare were less likely to use antivirus drugs on their patients. The researchers also found lower levels of antiviral drugs were used in poor quality facilities and those that were operated for profit. These results are alarming because Covid- 19 guidelines have focused on the elderly as needing these drugs on an urgent basis because of age – related risks.
The researchers believe that underuse of these medications remains a concern even with the end of the pandemic. They believe that nursing home facilities should regard Covid- 19 the same way that they regard other respiratory illnesses like the flu, and should be making the use of these antiviral medications more consistent. This is especially important in nursing facilities which tend to see higher levels of contagion. Nursing home residents tend to have poor outcomes when they contract Covid- 19 compared to the general community. Therefore, the use of life – saving drugs is critically important.
Even as the rates of Covid- 19 infections in nursing homes drop and recovery rates increase, it is important for facilities to remain vigilant and reduce gaps in the administration of these life- saving drugs.
The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries as a result of abuse and neglect in nursing homes in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia. If you believe that your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss his or her chances for a claim for damages. Victims of elder abuse may be eligible for compensation that covers medical expenses and pain and suffering. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case. Initial consultations are free.