We entrust a group of professional nurses and medical practitioners to take care of our loved ones in a dedicated facility, but what happens when that loved one gets injured, or is displaying signs of constant injuries that won’t go away? These could be common injuries, or could be caused by neglect or abuse from the nursing home staff. Injuries can range from broken bones, bedsores, lack of treatment of infections and many others.
Below is a list of common nursing home injuries and how they could happen:
- Bedrail Injury: Bedrails help keep patients from falling out of their beds, but they could pose real harm when not supervised. Patients could get stuck between the mattress and the bed rail which can cause lack of oxygen, cardiac arrest and even suffocation. Patients may also try to get out of bed and stumble and fall out of bed causing a serious injury. This is why it’s important to have the patient under supervision if they are using bedrails and are known to try and get out of bed themselves in order to prevent injuries.
- Bedsores: Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers and these happen when a resident is lying in the same position for a prolonged period of time. This causes the skin to damage, to get necrosis which is the death of the skin tissue and cells, and or infections. If a patient is under the strict guidance of being bedridden or is limited in movement and confined to a bed, the nursing home staff must make sure to apply proper treatment to avoid pressure ulcers, which may include constantly turning the patient.
- Broken Bones: The CDC estimated that around 300,000 seniors go to the hospital every year to treat broken hips. It’s no secret that as we get older our bones become more fragile and break easily, aggressive handling or falls in the nursing home causing a broken bone is a common occurrence which can be avoided.
- Concussions: These types of injuries are caused by trauma to the head. A slip and fall, or striking by a staff member to the head, can cause a concussion in a senior patient. These injuries can be life-threatening, and should always be reported and get checked out by a physician.
- Falls and Fractures: Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among people over the age of 65. Falls can lead to broken bones and concussions as mentioned above and or spinal injuries. After a fall an elderly person becomes less mobile which leads to other health problems and often times a significant demise in their health.
- Spinal Injuries: Spinal injuries can happen from a patient falling. The patient can damage the spine in different regions and can result in difficulty breathing, paralysis of limbs, and issues with bowel control. Spinal injuries can involve spinal cord damage which prevents the brain from sending important signals to other parts of the body.
- Infections: Infections are one of the most common issues that healthcare workers are faced with in nursing homes. These infections range from influenza, pneumonia, respiratory infections, urinary, skin, and soft tissue infections. When these types of infections occur, nursing homes must be proactive in treating them or they can lead to other health problems or even death.
So, if an injury like the ones described above occur, what should you do? First of all, you need to find out if this injury is a one-time occurrence. If injuries happen too often it could be a sign of neglect and/or abuse. You should get your loved one looked at by a physician and if you believe there is neglect and/or abuse, contact a lawyer to see what options are available for you.
If you feel as though you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, call The Law Offices of Scott Sobol at (954) 440-2000 or call Attorney Scott Sobol on his cell phone at (954) 854-1920.