When you check a loved one into a nursing home, you do so under the assumption that they will receive the highest quality care. Sadly, injuries occur in nursing homes around the country every day – whether from negligence, neglect, or outright abuse. These injuries are especially tragic and always preventable.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, you have the right to hold that facility accountable. Schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney immediately to explore your options.
What Common Injuries in Nursing Homes Can be Prevented?
The term “accident” can be misleading. After all, most accidents are caused by negligence. In a nursing home setting, if someone is injured it most likely occurred because of the premises was not kept safe, lack of adequate staff, or outright abuse at the hands of an employee.
Some common types of injuries include:
- Falls and Broken Bones – Falls are a higher risk for ambulatory patients, especially those with osteoporosis. When the facility fails to monitor patients properly, these patients can fall and fracture delicate bones. Furthermore, any obstacles left in hallways or common areas can contribute to these falls, along with wet or slick surfaces. Falls, especially for the elderly, can lead to spinal cord damage, broken wrists, and fractures of the hip.
- Bedsores – Bedsores, also referred to as pressure ulcers, happen when a patient remains in one position for too long – whether sitting or lying down. Too much pressure on the skin allows the skin to erode, especially around bony areas like the hip, tailbone, ankle, or heel.
- Medication Overdose or Improper Medications – Nursing home residents often take multiple medications – some of which must be spaced out throughout the day. When a nursing home has dozens of patients and medications to monitor, it can be easy to underdose, overdose, or give a patient the wrong medication entirely.
- Infections – Infections can occur on a patient’s bedsore or from improper hygiene. An infection might not seem like an injury, but it is. The elderly cannot fight off an infection as easily as a healthy adult, and in some cases, a serious infection can lead to death.
Holding Nursing Homes Accountable
The state and federal government have laws designed to protect nursing home residents and reduce the number of accidents, abuse, and preventable injuries in these facilities. Nursing homes must:
- have an adequate number of caregivers,
- keep their premises safe,
- have licensed physicians accessible,
- have an adequate number of nurses, as well as
- certified nursing assistants.
When nursing homes fail to meet the realistic needs of their residents, they can be held accountable for any injuries that may result.
If you believe that your loved one was harmed as the result of a nursing home failing to provide professional, compassionate care, contact Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP for assistance. We offer free case evaluations at all three of our office locations. You can also connect with an injury attorney online.