Falls in Nursing Homes are a Common and Preventable Cause of Serious Injury and Death

By Peter DePaolis

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1,800 people die every year from injuries related to falls. Those who survive falls are often left with permanent disabilities that reduce their quality of life.

Falls occur at least twice as often in nursing homes than among elderly people who live on their own. The CDC says that nursing homes with 100 beds typically report 100 to 200 falls a year, but many more falls go unreported. As many as half of the nation’s 1.5 million nursing home residents fall at least once every year, and many fall more than once.

While nursing home residents are generally weaker and frailer than elderly people living at home, conditions at facilities also contribute to the problem. A leading cause of falls in nursing homes is medication that affects coordination and causes confusion in residents, such as antipsychotics that nursing facilities prescribe to make patients more compliant, even though the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 prohibits the use of drugs for this reason.

Falls can also occur due to residents trying to walk on their own without assistance, often due to improper staffing. Motion-detector alarms, beds set at a low height and a protective mat placed by the bed can help decrease falls and subsequent injuries. Nursing home patients should also be given the option of having guard rails on their bed.

My Loved One Has Been Injured in a Nursing Home Due to Negligence. What Do I Do?

If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, do not wait to get this person the aid he or she needs. Speak to one of our attorneys today to tell us about your situation and circumstances. We understand what you are going through and want to hear your story. Feel free to comment below or you can visit our Facebook page to tell us more.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-angel/nursinghome-falls-a-commo_b_3684980.html

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.