Dehydration occurs if the body loses more fluid than it takes in, making it difficult to perform normal bodily functions. It may happen to anyone, but its impact on the elderly may be more significant compared to others. If you have a senior loved one living in a nursing home in San Francisco, California, they may be more likely to get dehydrated and suffer from long-term health problems. As such, it is crucial to determine who may be liable for the resulting harm.
A San Francisco dehydration lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you navigate throughout the legal process, especially if you think that neglect or abuse has occurred. Call us to schedule an initial consultation about your case.
Potential Complications Arising from Dehydration
Dehydration happens in varying degrees. Mild or moderate dehydration may be reversible by increasing one’s fluid intake. However, severe dehydration may require urgent medical treatment to avoid serious complications, including:
Dehydrated adults may end up with heat-related injuries because they may not be able to cool down their bodies by sweating. This may cause internal temperatures to increase to dangerously high levels, resulting in exhaustion or potentially fatal heatstroke.
Urinary Tract Infections or Kidney Failure
Dehydration, even a mild case, may result in waste build-up in the body and could be a primary culprit behind urinary tract infections and kidney stones. When left unaddressed, these may lead to permanent kidney damage or failure according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Potassium and sodium are electrolytes that may aid in transporting electric signals from cell to cell. Severe dehydration may lead to an imbalance in electrolyte levels, which may result in involuntary muscle contractions and sudden loss of consciousness.
Low Blood Volume Shock
Hypovolemic shock may be a life-threatening condition stemming from reduced blood volume circulating throughout the body according to the National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI). It may lead to drops in blood pressure and oxygen levels, making emergency care crucial. It may also be a complication of dehydration due to lost fluids, aside from bleeding.
Older Adults may be More at Risk for Dehydration
Although everyone is potentially at risk for dehydration, the elderly may be more susceptible. Many older adults may not feel thirsty for prolonged periods as the sense of thirst diminishes according to Cleveland Clinic. Their fluid reserves may become depleted, and the ability to conserve water is decreased.
These issues may be further compounded by health conditions that come with age. Type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney diseases may increase the possibility of dehydration. The intake of certain medications may also cause frequent urination, leading to fluid loss. Some seniors may also be unable to get water for themselves if they have mobility issues.
Those living in nursing homes should not have to worry about these situations. Caregivers may provide water to their patients anytime as part of caring for them; however such is not always the case. Neglect may happen and become rampant in understaffed facilities. Elderly residents may feel thirsty and suffer from dehydration because busy staff members may have forgotten about the request for water.
There are instances when caregivers may overlook the needs of residents by not having a robust hydration program in place, such as offering drinks during mealtimes and keeping water stations accessible. It may also be possible they lack training in spotting dehydration symptoms in residents. Some staff members may even be upfront with their mistreatment by denying fluids to a patient who frequently urinates.
If you believe your elderly loved one is dehydrated, there are visible symptoms such as dry and flaky skin, sticky mouth, rough tongue, sunken eyes, rapid breathing, and fast heart rate. A dehydrated individual may have a dark-hued urine color, or experience diarrhea, vomiting, or fever. These are also possible causes of dehydration.
For a free legal consultation with an dehydration lawyer serving San Francisco, call (800) 794-0444
Possible Compensation from Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing homes and their staff have the legal duty to take care of your senior loved one. If they fail to perform these functions, such as keeping their residents adequately hydrated, they may be held liable for their actions. If these problems result in long-term harm to patients, they should be held responsible for the consequences. Negligence, and to some extent, abuse, may be the basis of a case. Once proven, you may be entitled to compensation on behalf of your loved one, including:
- Medical expenses for treatment
- Pain and suffering stemming from neglect
- Cost of stay in the facility where abuse or neglect happened
Reach out to a San Francisco dehydration lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss the potential merits of your case and potential compensation you may be entitled to for harm suffered and financial losses incurred.
San Francisco Dehydration Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
How a Lawyer may be Able to Help
Consulting a San Francisco dehydration lawyer may be a first step in determining your legal options. In elderly abuse cases involving neglect, the burden of proof lies with you. Having a lawyer on board may ease the gathering of sufficient evidence to build a case, including medical records, statements, and witnesses.
Determining liability in nursing home neglect or abuse may be challenging for someone who has no experience. A lawyer may be able to assist in filing a lawsuit against the nursing home or facility, administrators, and staff members. Keep in mind that they may all be held accountable for letting the incident happen, even if they are not the direct perpetrators. Moreover, a lawyer may be able to offer legal representation to help you fight for the compensation you may be entitled to.
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At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, a San Francisco dehydration lawyer may be able to handle your case and see it through from start to finish. The families of abused elders may be entitled to financial compensation for the pain and suffering experienced because of neglect.
Time may be of the essence, especially with the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California according to CA Courts. Our team offers free consultations, so consider reaching out to our legal team.