An open fracture happens when a broken bone protrudes through the skin and exposes internal tissues, ligaments, or organs. It is also known as a compound fracture and is generally caused by high-impact trauma.
Open compound fractures may be a sign of elder abuse if you uncover suspicious findings upon investigating the occurrence of the injury. If you believe that your family member suffers from nursing home abuse, you should seek legal counsel for more specific legal advice.
Where Compound Fractures Can Occur on the Body
Open fractures can occur anywhere on the body. These injuries range in severity depending upon the location, individual health, level of impact, and more.
Individuals can experience an open fracture in the following areas:
- Hands and feet.
- Ankles and wrists.
- Arms and legs.
- Head, neck, and spine.
Compound fractures can affect other soft tissues in the body significantly as well. These open compound fractures can cause extensive trauma to the muscles, nerves, veins, tendons, and skin. As such, it is important that the nursing home caring for your loved one treats the open wound as well as the broken bone.
Causes of Bone Fractures in Nursing Homes
While it may seem counterintuitive, residents of nursing homes are more likely to sustain a bone fracture than if they were living on their own. However, open fracture injuries are preventable with adequate monitoring and medical care.
Possible causes of bone fractures at nursing homes may include:
- Health issues: Certain health conditions cause bones to spontaneously fracture in nursing home residents. However, they may have no attributable source at all.
- Environmental hazards: From fall hazards to walkway clutter, environmental hazards can play a significant role in causing your loved one’s broken bone.
- Malfunctioning equipment: Wheelchairs, bed rails, and other assistance devices must be in good repair to adequately support your loved one’s healthcare plan. Any variation from this standard can result in a fracture.
- Over- or under-medicating: If your family member takes medications that affect his or her cognitive abilities, then he or she needs additional attention and monitoring from staff to prevent fractured bones from occurring.
- Improper handling and transfers: Residents who require extra help with activities like getting in or out of a bed or bathtub, nursing home staff members must follow specific protocols related to resident repositioning and lifting.
- Physical abuse: While it is painful to imagine, the willful infliction of force upon your loved one can result in his or her bone injury.
No matter how things may appear, it is important that you investigate the circumstances surrounding your family member’s compound fracture. Not all broken bones are considered nursing home abuse or neglect, but in most cases, they should not be occurring at these facilities in general.
What To Do When Elder Abuse is Suspected
Investigating the circumstances that caused your family member’s fracture is an important first step toward uncovering if abuse or neglect is occurring. It is important to keep in mind that, while reputable nursing homes exist, there are others who do not meet their required duty of care to ensure safety and quality in nursing homes for residents.
Here are a few tips that you can use if you suspect nursing home abuse is happening:
- Remain calm when talking with nursing home staff, even if it is difficult to do so.
- Talk with your family member about what happened.
- Ask management and staff members if they noticed occurrences of abuse.
- Address the questions you need to and take adequate notes.
- Contact law enforcement if a clear sign of abuse or neglect is occurring.
- Report elder abuse to your state’s oversight board or department.
- Contact our firm to ensure the safety of your family member.
It is challenging to address the frightening prospect of nursing home abuse. However, your family member needs all of the love and protection available to stay safe. Nursing home neglect and abuse should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Call the Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
If your family member endured nursing home abuse, mistreatment, or neglect, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to help. We offer our clients the resources necessary to enforce accountability for his or her bone injuries.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will not charge you for an initial consultation to discuss your case with our office. Call us to request yours today by calling (800) 842-6336.