One of the primary signs people have when they need to take in water to avoid dehydration is a sense of thirst. However, as people age, their sense of thirst wanes, meaning they may not always take in enough water to keep themselves properly hydrated.
For residents of a nursing home, the facility’s staff needs to monitor residents to ensure they are drinking enough water to maintain a healthy level of hydration. If you suspect this did not occur with your loved one, who later received a diagnosis of dehydration, you have the right to seek compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering and medical bills related to the diagnosis.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we know exactly how to approach cases like this. You can count on a Los Angeles dehydration lawyer from our team to protect you and your loved one’s rights to seek awards related to the injury.
How a Nursing Home Can Prevent Dehydration
While in the nursing home, staff must understand each resident’s hydration needs. Some residents may need extra water to combat certain medical conditions or to compensate for the medications they are taking. Without the extra water, the resident could suffer from dehydration.
By failing to monitor the water intake of residents, the actions of the nursing home staff could be neglectful or abusive.
Causes of Dehydration
Mayo Clinic says a nursing home resident could begin to suffer from dehydration for a variety of reasons, including:
- Overexertion: where the nursing home resident may have spent too much time in hot and humid conditions outside or may have overdone an exercise session, sweating a lot and not drinking enough water to replenish the sweat.
- Illness with fever: where an elderly person with a fever naturally has a reduction in hydration, resulting in the need for more fluid intake.
- Illness with diarrhea: where an ill nursing home resident can lose quite a bit of fluid from the body because of diarrhea.
- Illness with vomiting: where an ill person loses quite a bit of body fluid through vomiting, and the person is unable to replenish the lost fluid because of digestive problems and continued vomiting.
- Excessive urination: where an elderly person who has diabetes or bladder problems may have the urge to urinate excessively, leading to a loss of fluid faster than he or she can replenish it.
Additionally, older people tend to carry less fluid in the body than a younger person. This means that the body does not conserve water, so it cannot combat excessively hot weather or a hard exercise session as well as a young person’s body would.
If you believe a nursing home did not do enough to prevent your loved one’s complications from dehydration, you have the right to bring a lawsuit on his or her behalf with the assistance of a Los Angeles dehydration lawyer. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation.
Importance of Proper Hydration
According to Cleveland Clinic, an elderly person who does not have the proper level of hydration in the body could notice a few early warning signs, including:
- Joint pain from a lack of lubrication
- Sore and scratchy throat
- Dry and itchy eyes
- Improper body temperature
- Dizziness and an increased fall risk
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
- Dark-colored urine
- Inability to chew and swallow food because of a lack of saliva
Because some of these same signs can be found with other types of medical conditions, certain illnesses, and side effects to medication, dehydration can be difficult for the nursing home staff to spot unless they are closely monitoring the water intake of the resident.
Some nursing home residents are unable to verbalize when they are noticing these warning signs. This means it is important for the staff to notice what is happening and immediately help the resident increase his or her water intake to prevent an escalation of problems related to dehydration.
Most Serious Dehydration Problems
When dehydration becomes significant, it causes an imbalance in the body’s fluids and minerals, leading to significant health concerns that could become fatal if not treated. Often, a nursing home resident who reaches this level of dehydration will require hospitalization. Some of the most significant injuries related to dehydration in an elderly person include:
- Heat stroke: where the elderly person remains outdoors in hot and humid weather, causing excessive sweating and, eventually, heat stroke, which can lead to significant cramps or a loss of consciousness.
- Seizures: where older people who are suffering from dehydration may have a loss of balance in the electrolytes in the body, which can cause seizures, debilitating muscle cramps, and a loss of consciousness.
- Hypovolemic shock: where dehydration reduces body fluids and leads to a low volume of blood in the body, which can create a sudden drop in blood pressure, leaving the internal organs unable to receive the oxygen they need to function properly.
- Damage to internal organs: where regular dehydration can cause stress to some internal organs, especially the bladder and kidneys, leading to infections and the formation of painful stones.
For a free legal consultation with an dehydration lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Guarding Against the Dangers of Dehydration
We understand just how important it is to protect our vulnerable elderly population from abusive and neglectful situations at nursing homes. Although the majority of staff members at nursing homes have the best interests of the residents in mind, mistakes happen, possibly leading to a serious injury for your loved one.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our team takes pride in defending the rights of these vulnerable people. We will stand up to the nursing home’s insurance company, working to protect the rights of your loved one. The nursing home needs to be held responsible for the injuries it caused to your loved one, hopefully preventing others from receiving the same type of treatment.
A Los Angeles dehydration lawyer from our team will be ready to begin working on the case as soon as you choose to hire us.