Kentucky nursing homes are air conditioned. The air conditioning keeps residents comfortable, and it also keeps them safe from the potentially dangerous heat of a Kentucky summer. Since your loved one is living in a climate-controlled environment, the dangers of heatstroke may not be something that you are worried about.
However, your loved one may not always be safe from the heat. Air conditioning units malfunction and residents may want to enjoy some time outside. If nursing home staff fail to exercise reasonable care in either of these scenarios, heatstroke may become a very real and potentially deadly danger.
What Is Heatstroke?
Heatstroke can occur when a person’s body temperature reaches or exceeds 104 degrees. If it is not treated quickly, heatstroke can damage the brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. It may lead to lasting health issues or it can result in death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older people may be more susceptible to heatstroke because they are:
- Unable to adapt to changes in temperature as well as younger people typically do
- More likely to be taking a prescription medication that impacts their ability to control their body temperature or to sweat
- More likely to have a chronic health condition that impacts their body’s reaction to heat
For these reasons, nursing home staff should be aware of the risk of heatstroke and should take reasonable precautions to prevent injuries when nursing home residents are exposed to high temperatures.
How to Prevent Heatstroke in Nursing Homes
In order to protect nursing home residents from the potentially deadly effects of heatstroke, nursing home staff should be appropriately trained to:
- Make sure residents are dressed in light and loose clothing
- Make sure residents are very well hydrated
- Encourage residents to take showers or baths to cool off
- Recognize the signs of potential heatstroke, including red skin, lack of sweat, dizziness, confusion, and nausea, and take immediate steps to help any resident in distress
If nursing home staff fail to take action to prevent heatstroke or to get help for a resident suffering from heatstroke, your loved one may be hurt.
How to Help Your Loved One If She Suffers a Heatstroke Injury in a Kentucky Nursing Home
Heatstroke may be the result of nursing home negligence and your loved one may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for her heatstroke-related injuries if she has been hurt. That lawsuit can help pay for things such as medical care, out of pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
To learn more, or to help your loved one get the fair recovery she deserves, please contact our experienced nursing home injury lawyers any time—24/7/365—for a free consultation.