Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The entire thing was iatrogenic*

Are falls preventable? Here's a case of inappropriate care by the medical community that caused them. Note my friend--even as a doctor--was unable to get the proper care for her mother:

I have to tell you about my 93 year old mom:

For years at the nursing home they kept adding blood pressure medicines to treat her recalcitrant blood pressure. She was falling more than once a day, disoriented and largely wheelchair bound since the staff found using the chair prevented falls. (They would wheel her to meals, etc.) She spent most of her days in bed.

Shortly before she moved to the dementia unit the doctor came to see her and said she was on too much blood pressure medication.  He noted that old people needed higher pressures, something I had been trying to tell her previous doctors for a couple of years.

Bottom line--he stops all but one blood pressure medication. I ask them to put her on an antidepressant, and she is now walking around without even a walker. We even took her to IHOP and the grocery store and she had more stamina than ever before. She is happy. 

The entire thing was iatrogenic! 
*DefinitionInduced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures.


Norma Sandrock said...

From Facebook:

But there was probably some accreditation body "citing" them for every patient with a blood pressure over 120/70, requiring them to overmedicate this lady to be "in compliance."

David States said...

From Facebook:

Not to mention billing for every med on the cart, the wheelchair and the up charge for greater intensity staffing.

Lise Paul said...

From Facebook:

Thank you for this. Went through it with my father. The Medicare regs lead nursing homes to imprison residents to prevent falls. My new job is at Hebrew Senior Life. I hope to do something to help. Financial incentives are changing, so maybe there is hope.

Carole said...

The information in this post is priceless! A good to know, and makes me wonder when I had questions and didn't get answers as well about the side effects to b.p. meds. kind of makes sense now. So this could help us in the future, thanks and it will be passed on. Just so people know- my mother was in a rehab, there was a doctors mother who was there. Families of the patients that were there, would talk amongst themselves complaining and assuming she would get special and better treatment than the rest. I personally witnessed she did not, they treated her just like the rest. I noticed the best care went to the patients who's family members practically lived there, like myself. You have to show up and be there, they appreciate the families help and support. And of course the family member treasures it.