The Centers for Disease Control has estimated that almost 2,000 nursing home residents die each year as a result of falls and injuries sustained in the nursing home. Although many residents in nursing homes are prone to falling and susceptible to being injured in a fall, it is imperative that nursing homes take the necessary precautions to prevent these injuries. In many circumstances, falls and resulting broken bone injuries occur due to nursing homes being understaffed and undertrained.
Types of Broken Bone Injuries in Nursing Homes
The most common types of broken bones occurring in nursing homes are:
- Stress fractures. Stress fractures are characterized by small cracks in the bone typically occurring in the lower extremities such as ankles. Left untreated, the cracks in the bones will increase in size. This can lead to horrific pain, swelling, and a host of terrible complications.
- Compression fractures. Compression fractures are sometimes referred to as spontaneous fractures. These fractures can occur suddenly and often without explanation. Although the nursing home staff may not have been able to prevent this type of fracture, it still has an obligation to monitor residents for these types of fractures and to ensure proper medical care is given to prevent them from developing into medical nightmares. Left untreated, these fractures can lead to terrible pain and the need for surgical correction.
- Traumatic fractures. Traumatic fractures often result from accidents such as falls. Our firm has also seen broken bones become more common as a result of untrained staff mishandling residents during transfers from beds to wheelchairs and even during routine physical therapy sessions. Traumatic fractures area almost always preventable and the result of negligence and abuse.
While any broken bone can be painful and dangerous, some broken bones—such as hip fractures—can be particularly dangerous.
Broken Hips Can Be Life Threatening
A study published in the American Medical Association journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that:
- About 36 percent of nursing home patients who suffer a hip fracture die within 180 days of the fracture.
- More than 50 percent of nursing home patients who had some independence of movement before the fracture either die or become totally dependent within 180 days of the fracture.
- Those most at risk of dying after a nursing home hip fracture are people 90 years old or older, people with significant cognitive impairment, and people whose fracture is treated without an operation.
Whether your loved one suffered a broken hip or any other broken bone, it is important for you to take action as soon as you know that your loved one has been hurt.
What to Do If Your Loved One Suffers a Broken Bone in a Nursing Home
Anytime a family member or a loved one is in a nursing home and suffers a bone fracture, you need to take action. You should be provided with a detailed explanation by the nursing home explaining how the injury occurred, when it was discovered, what treatment was given, and what further treatment is necessary. Additionally, the nursing home administrator should let you know how staff will prevent this type of injury from occurring again.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?
If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.