The incidence of COVID-19 death is more prevalent among the elderly, based on the favorable mechanisms of respiratory droplet spread for individuals living in close quarters, coupled with compromised underlying health conditions.  Seeking consultation with an experienced attorney is advised when families are concerned about their loved ones receiving Hydroxychloroquine in a residential facility as part of treatment against COVID-19.

Three U.S. senators sent letters Thursday asking Trump administration officials about reports that nursing home residents received hydroxychloroquine without consent or authorization after the president claimed it could prevent coronavirus infection, while urging a watchdog to probe the extent and oversight of possible abuses. The Democratic senators requested any guidance that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services gave to nursing homes about the drug President Donald Trump has frequently touted. They also asked CMS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services inspector general about the prevalence of hydroxychloroquine use in nursing homes and requested all complaints related to the drug, which was once thought promising, but later shown to be dangerous for coronavirus treatment.

Resident rights.

Residents in nursing homes have rights under The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, and families and loved ones need to make certain those rights are not being violated during this time of uncertainty. To that end, a family can do their best to investigate a nursing home for violations related to COVID-19 treatment against the spread of the virus.  Inadequate staff levels, shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), lack of cleaning and sanitation, delayed referrals to intensive medical care when necessary, and deviations from normal standards of medical care (including the use of Hydroxychloroquine) could result in complaints of nursing home abuse, or neglect that results in injury, or wrongful death of a resident.  An experienced nursing home attorney could assist in this process.

Standards of care.

South Carolina nursing home facilities are required to take action to isolate sick residents to control disease spread in accordance with South Carolina Nursing Home Laws (S.C. Code Section 44-7-260), and to uphold approved medical standards of care with regard to authorized medical treatment of residents.  It is important to speak with legal counsel if you believe a resident’s rights were violated by receiving the drug Hydroxychloroquine without consent and “whether CMS has properly used its authority to hold providers accountable for known misuse of this treatment.”

Nursing home oversight.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is continuing to partner with nursing homes across the state to support implementation of infection control practices that protect residents and staff during the pandemic.  Nursing home abuse covers acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions, or place residents in danger so it is imperative that isolation and medical treatments fall within the acceptable medically approved standards of care.  When deviation from approved medical standards of care result in harm, or death to a nursing home resident, call an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Offices, to discuss a potential case for damages.

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000

Sources.

https://www.law360.com/articles/1305461/sens-want-nursing-home-probe-over-hydroxychloroquine

https://www.congress.gov/bill/100th-congress/house-bill/3545/titles

https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/Regulations/R.61-17.pdf

 

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