elderly nursing home patient in wheelchairPelvic fractures are dangerous injuries for senior citizens. A study published in a 2002 edition of the journal Surgery found that elderly people who suffer pelvic fractures are more likely to experience longer hospital stays and have an increased risk of death than younger people who suffer pelvic fractures.

Accordingly, it is important for nursing home residents and their loved ones to recognize the signs, symptoms, and dangers of a pelvic fracture and to take action if a resident is hurt because of nursing home abuse or negligence.

How Pelvic Fractures Happen in Nursing Homes

Many pelvic fractures happen in nursing homes due to falls. People residing in nursing homes may be more likely to break bones, including pelvic bones, during falls because of their age or medical conditions. Therefore, preventing falls is important in preventing this serious injury.

Some of the nursing home falls that result in broken pelvises are not accidents. Nursing home negligence and abuse can cause falls. Negligence or abuse may have caused your loved one’s fall and resulting injury if the nursing home failed to:

  • Provide bone density medication as prescribed by a doctor
  • Provide occupational therapy as needed
  • Provide handrails, walker, cane, or wheelchairs as appropriate
  • Answer a resident’s call for assistance
  • Assess a resident’s risk of falling
  • Develop and implement an action plan for a resident at risk of falling
  • Conduct regular checks on the resident
  • Provide assistance in the bathroom and shower

In order to prevent falls, the nursing home must have reasonable policies and procedures, make sure that the policies and procedures are followed, and have sufficient staffing to implement them.

Pelvic Fracture Symptoms and Complications

Nursing home personnel can cause more significant injuries if they fail to respond appropriately to a possible pelvic fracture. If a resident falls and a pelvic fracture is suspected, nursing home staff must be very careful in how they lift or move the resident to prevent further injury.

According to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, some symptoms of a pelvic fracture include:

  • Pain in the groin, hip, or back that may worsen when walking
  • Abdominal pain
  • Trouble walking or standing
  • Bleeding from the vagina or rectum
  • Trouble urinating
  • Numbness or tingling in the groin or legs

Nursing home staff should be aware of all of these symptoms.

While a pelvic fracture may be suspected based on an individual’s symptoms, an x-ray or CT scan will be required to confirm the exact location and extent of the fracture.

A nursing home resident who suffers a pelvic fracture may:

  • Require hospitalization
  • Suffer secondary injuries to internal organs, nerves, or blood vessels
  • Suffer bedsores
  • Develop infections such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections
  • Have trouble walking and require aids such as a cane or wheelchair
  • Have an increased risk of an early death

Treatment will vary according to an individual’s needs, but may include rest, medications, physical therapy, and surgery.

What to Do if a Pelvic Fracture Was Caused by Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence

If you have suffered a pelvic fracture due to nursing home negligence or abuse or if your loved one has died from such an injury, you may have the right to make a legal recovery. The nursing home is not going to admit fault or pay for your damages unless you present convincing evidence of abuse or neglect and you are willing to take action to get the damages you deserve. These damages may include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Funeral and burial expenses if your loved one died because of her injuries

It may seem intimidating or overwhelming to start legal action against the nursing home, but you are not alone. You have the right to consult with an experienced nursing home injury lawyer. Our attorneys and staff nurse will review your claim and, if appropriate, fight for your fair and just recovery. If we take your case, you won’t owe us any attorney fees until your claim is resolved.

Please contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation at your earliest convenience.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky

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