Nursing home care is something that we often take for granted, yet sometimes negligent care may result in injuries or even death. One recent lawsuit, filed in Cook County, highlights the problem of nursing home neglect. A nursing home resident died as a result of complications after a fall caused serious injuries including a broken hip. The lawsuit was brought against the Alden-North Shore Rehabilitation and Health Care Center seeking damages of more than $50,000.
Falls Are Most Serious in Elderly
Falls happen to people every day but the most serious injuries occur to the elderly. The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports that falls are very common in nursing homes. About half of all nursing home residents will experience a fall at one time or another. While not all falls are serious, they certainly can be. The most important thing to remember about nursing home falls is that they can and should be prevented. When a resident falls at a nursing home it is likely the result of negligent care.
Hip Fractures in the Elderly
The elderly are more prone to broken bones and when they fall they are more likely to suffer broken bones or fractures. Of the injuries from falls, broken hips are certainly among the most common type of fractures that occur. Hip fractures often occur more frequently in older individuals for a number of reasons. Older people often have thinner bones, making them easier to break in a fall. Some medications may contribute to reduced bone density. Lack of a nutritional diet can lead to decreased bone thickness as can a vitamin deficiency. Women are more susceptible to thinning bones than men and some bone density issues may be hereditary. Other factors, such as smoking and osteoporosis can also add to the problem.
Diagnosing and Treating Hip Fractures
Hip fractures can be quite painful and usually the patient has difficulty walking or putting weight on that hip or leg. The most common hip fractures occur at the top of the femur, where the bone and hip joint meet. An MRI or CT scan are required to properly diagnose a fracture. In some cases, small fractures can only be seen using a bone scan. Treatment of hip fractures in the elderly can be complex. Many times surgery is required to repair or replace the hip joint. This is commonly called hip replacement surgery. The bone must be kept in place while it heals, which is longer in the elderly than in younger individuals. This causes concern regarding mobility and the many other complications that can arise as a result.
Nursing Home Neglect
With all of these factors in mind, nursing homes must be particularly careful to provide a safe and supervised environment to guard the elderly against falls. In this case, the lawsuit indicates that the nursing home did not provide adequate supervision and failed to provide a safe facility. The woman fell and broke her hip, which caused severe injury, pain and suffering, and a general decline in her health, leading to her death. If your loved one was seriously injured in a fall at a nursing home you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages. Contact Levin & Perconti to discuss your case and get answers to your questions.
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Fall Leads to Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit