Elderly individuals have weaker bones as they age, which makes them more prone to possible bone fractures or breaks. Once an elderly person breaks a bone, oftentimes, other bodily systems tend to struggle or shut down as they become immobile. Bedsores and other medical complications may develop, which can lead to serious medical conditions, or even death. If your elderly loved one experienced a bone break or fracture as a resident of a nursing home, elder abuse or neglect may have played a role in their injury. A Forest View bone fracture and breaks lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help you pursue compensation. Call us to help you with your next steps.
Causes of Falls That Lead to Bone Fractures and Breaks
Elderly residents of a nursing home live with a higher risk of falling due to their lack of stability, coordination, and strength. In some cases, seniors may experience dizziness upon standing due to age, medical conditions, or certain medications. Additionally, seniors tend to lose coordination as they age, creating the opportunity for tripping on rugs or debris in a walkway that may lead to bone fractures or breaks. A senior’s failing eyesight may also make it difficult for them to judge whether hazardous conditions lie in their path, leading to a fall. All of these medical conditions, medications, or simple lack of coordination due to age can result in serious falls that can lead to bone fractures and breaks for elderly nursing home residents.
Types of Broken Bones and Fractures
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most nursing home residents that fall tend to break certain bones more than others, including their hip, pelvis, thigh, spine, arm, hand, leg, or ankle. Broken bones and fractures often occur due to elderly patients’ extremely brittle bones. Medical professionals categorize fractures into types, including traumatic fractures, compression fractures, and stress fractures, all of which can lead to severe pain and develop into more serious medical conditions if caregivers leave them untreated.
While many of these broken bones or fractures warrant concern, the most dangerous medical event typically tends to be when an elderly person breaks their hip, according to the CDC. In fact, the one-year mortality rate after suffering from a broken or fractured hip reaches as high as 58%, according to Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation.
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Medical Complications Resulting From Broken or Fractured Bones
The broken or fractured bone itself presents a serious condition for any elderly person. However, in many cases, additional medical complications may result from a broken or fractured bone. Some of the possible complications may include bedsores due to the inability to move or walk, depression, weight loss, or poor personal hygiene. All of these complications can lead to serious medical conditions such as dehydration, malnutrition, or other serious life-threatening complications.
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Nursing Home Responsibilities and Obligations
Nursing homes have a duty to ensure that nursing home residents receive proper attention throughout the day. A determination should occur regarding every resident that assesses their risk for a potential fall. For any bedridden resident, wheelchair-bound resident, or residents who use a walker or cane, nursing home caregivers must ensure that as they move, they do not fall. Any resident that needs assistance going to the bathroom or showering should receive careful monitoring to ensure that they do not fall and break or fracture a bone. The responsibility for any kind of assistance to ensure that residents do not fall rests completely with the nursing home. The nursing home has a proactive obligation and duty to care for their residents and ensure that they do not fall.
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Failing to Notify a Physician or Family of the Bone Fracture or Break
Nursing home staff must notify an attending physician, medical professional, or the nursing home resident’s family that a bone fracture or break occurred. If a nursing home staff employee or nurse behaved negligently and a resident fell and broke or fractured a bone, the nurse or employee may not report the injury due to fear of facing liability for the break or fracture. When an elderly resident cannot communicate due to their medical condition or has cognitive dysfunction such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they may simply remain unable to communicate their pain and explain the event that occurred.
The elderly resident may have suffered unimaginable pain as they laid in bed or sat in a wheelchair with a broken or fractured bone for days, or perhaps even weeks. If you discover that your elderly loved one suffered a broken or fractured bone that went unnoticed for any period of time, you may have strong grounds for a nursing home abuse claim, and you should consider consulting a bone fractures and breaks lawyer serving Forest View.
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Consider a Forest View Bone Fractures and Breaks Lawyer
If you discover that your elderly loved one suffered from a bone fracture or break during their stay as a resident in a nursing home, you may have the right to file a nursing home abuse or neglect case. Consider how a Forest View bone fractures and breaks lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help your receive compensation for your elderly loved one’s medical bills and pain and compensation from a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Call us for your free consultation.