Nursing homes employ many different people to care for residents. Doctors, nurses, aides, and others must communicate with one another and with their counterparts when shifts change to make sure that each nursing home resident is safe. Otherwise, miscommunication can cause a serious or fatal injury.
Five Dangers of Nursing Home Miscommunication
The failure to establish communication procedures or to follow established procedures could be considered negligence in civil court because it could result in serious injuries from:
- Medication mistakes. If nursing home providers do not clearly chart what medication was given at what time or fail to notify each other of medication changes, a nursing home resident could suffer a severe injury from receiving too much medication, too little medication, or the wrong medication.
- Bedsores. Bedsores can occur when a nursing home resident who is unable to move independently is left in the same position for too long. If nursing home workers fail to communicate about when a patient was last moved or about the need to move a patient, dangerous pressure ulcers, or bedsores, may develop.
- Malnutrition. Nursing homes have a duty not only to provide palatable food in a way that a nursing home resident can eat it but to monitor a nursing home resident’s food intake. If staff members fail to communicate changes in eating habits to doctors or nurses, a resident could suffer malnutrition.
- Dehydration. Adequate hydration is necessary to prevent confusion, infections, bedsores, and other serious health risks. Some medications may make dehydration more likely. Nursing home staff should communicate with one another about specific residents’ risk factors, water intake, and dehydration prevention.
- Infections. If nursing home workers do not help a resident maintain personal hygiene or take reasonable steps to prevent the spread of infection, a deadly infection could occur. Sometimes, nursing home staff members assume that someone else is taking care of these things, and the lack of communication about who is responsible for personal hygiene and preventing infection from spreading is to blame for the resident’s illness.
If your loved one was hurt because nursing home staff members failed to communicate with one another, please call us or fill out our contact form today. Our experienced and compassionate Kentucky nursing home injury lawyers are here to help you.