Nursing homes are known for being vigilant about patient care. Elderly folk require more attention and dedication from medical staff members to stay safe and healthy, after all. Unfortunately, there are still thousands upon thousands of injuries within the walls of nursing homes every single year (some of them fatal). There are seven injuries, in particular, that are most commonly sustained by elderly patients in nursing homes:
Table of Contents
Bedsores, which are also referred to as pressure ulcers, occur when residents lie in the same spot for long periods. When this happens, other serious side effects can pop up – such as necrosis, infections, and skin damage. Nursing home staff are required to move patients who are bedridden to prevent bedsores. When they fail to do so, they may be held legally liable for the damages the residents suffer as a result of bedsores. With the proper bedsore nursing home lawyer, you can ensure that your loved one gets the restitution that they deserve.
2. Spinal Injuries
Spinal injuries refer to damage to the body’s spinal cord. When these injuries occur, the nerves that connect the spine to the brain can be irreversibly damaged. Not only can this cause both paralysis and death, but many other serious conditions as well. Spinal injuries can cause breathing issues, loss of bowel control, and other extremely painful conditions in elderly patients in particular. If a nursing home resident’s space is not kept hazard free, it can result in a tragic spinal injury or another serious injury.
Fractures are some of the most common nursing home injuries that happen each year, as elderly people’s bones are more fragile on average. Even small injuries, falls, or bumps can result in fractures. Even if a resident only sustains a hairline fracture, this can cause serious health complications for elderly folk. Hip and neck fractures are especially dangerous, and can even lead to end-of-life complications for elderly patients. Some studies show that one-in-three adults over the age of 50 die after suffering a hip fracture.
Perhaps the most common injury sustained in nursing homes, the CDC has estimated that over one-million infections occur in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities every single year. Tragically, more than four hundred thousand nursing home residents suffer fatal complications from infections as well. When signs of infection are present, nursing home staff members must act immediately to ensure the patient does not suffer from any fatal or long-term complications. Otherwise, they can be subjected to high-figure lawsuits from the resident or their loved ones.
No matter what age you are, a concussion can cause massive health complications. Trauma related to the brain is especially problematic for older people, however. Although they are not typically life-threatening, concussions are known to cause long-term health problems in nursing home patients. Additionally, elderly people take much longer to recover from the negative health effects of a concussion. Typically, concussions are sustained during falls when it comes to nursing home patients, although other dangerous scenarios can lead them to suffer concussive injuries as well.
6. Medication Errors
One of the top responsibilities of nursing home medical staff is to provide daily medication to their residents. Nearly every nursing home resident is on at least one type of daily medication, after all. Many of these medications can have negative side effects if they are not properly applied, or when they are not given at the proper time. Many nursing home-related lawsuits deal directly with medication management errors. In rare cases, several nursing home residents will be harmed due to lax medication management, which can lead to a high-profile class action lawsuit.
7. Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are incredibly dangerous for elderly people – especially nursing home patients. They can lead to many of the injuries we’ve already discussed, and can even lead to fatal injuries in some cases. Because elderly people have a much harder time recovering from fall-related injuries, nursing home staff members must ensure there are as few slip-and-fall hazards as humanly possible present in their living facilities. Otherwise, tragedy is bound to occur.
Nursing Home Safety is Serious Business
If you suspect that a loved one’s care at their nursing home is suboptimal, you need to contact that home’s director immediately. Being proactive can save lives, and will help you feel at ease about your elderly loved one’s living situation. Thankfully, nursing homes have strict safety guidelines in place to help prevent these tragic injuries.