New Study Says Life-Sustaining Directives Often Clash with Nursing Residents' Treatment Preferences

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Nov 03, 2016 in Nursing Home Injury or Death

conversation with nursing home residentA new study in the Journal of Palliative Medicine reveals that nursing home residents' current treatment preferences often clash with preferences for life-sustaining medical orders.

Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco and Indiana University studied the use of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms at nursing homes. They also interviewed 28 nursing home residents and their representatives to assess consistency between POLST orders and treatment options.

They found that current treatment preferences clash with the information on POLST forms for 64 percent of residents. Of the 64 percent of clashes, 21 percent involved discrepancies over antibiotic treatment preferences.

On a positive note, half of the inconsistencies were fixed after discussions with residents.

Also, researchers found that 59 percent of nursing home residents recognized a POLST form and 50 percent understood how POLST forms affect medical interventions. A majority of residents understood how POLST forms affect certain treatment options:

  • 79 percent understood how POLST forms affect artificial nutrition
  • 74 percent knew how POLST forms affect antibiotic treatment preferences
  • 68 percent knew how POLST forms affect CPR directives

The study calls for more intervention with nursing home residents to make sure preferences on POLST forms line up with current treatment preferences.

If your loved one's treatment preferences were violated at a nursing home, staff members could be held liable for nursing home abuse or negligence. You should contact a skilled nursing home abuse attorney to review your claim and inform you of your legal options.

Contact Stewart Bell, PLLC's nursing home abuse attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation. We have the experience and legal knowledge necessary to build the strongest case possible to give you the best opportunity to recover all of the compensation you are entitled.

Call us today at 304-345-1700 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form.

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