Research has indicated that a class of drugs known as anticholinergics may delay a patient’s recovery from a brain injury. Such drugs are commonly used to treat bladder issues, insomnia and depression in older people. A study published in Brain Injury followed 52 patients and discovered that those who had a higher level of anticholinergic drug burden had longer hospital stays on average compared to those who had lower levels of it in their system.
Although the drug has several side effects that are already known to researchers, it is deemed important to help with pain after a brain or spinal cord injury. However, it may not allow a patient to be a fully active participant in the rehab process. That results in their rehab progressing slowly and requires extended stays in the hospital.
In another 2015 study published in Medical News Today, it was discovered that these drugs may be linked to higher levels of dementia in older patients. Therefore, fully understanding how the drug works within the body could help lead to better care for patients both now and in the long term. It could also provide financial benefits to hospitals that are judged on their ability to discharge patients as soon as it is medically safe to do so.
Those who have suffered a head or other type of injury due to hospital errors may wish to consult with an attorney. It may be possible to win compensation from the doctor that caused the error through the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit. In some cases, the facility itself could be held financially responsible as well.