Hospital and Nursing Home Broken Bones Shouldn’t Happen
In a study performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), investigations revealed that close to 1,800 fatalities occur each year in the United States in nursing homes when older adults fall. A majority of these injuries could have been easily prevented had nursing home employees been proactive in monitoring residents. Unfortunately, the problem is expanding and will continue to increase as the elderly population rises, unless strict preventative measures are enforced.
The Problem: Falls, Broken Bones, and Nursing Homes
Between 10% to 20% of falls in nursing homes result in serious injuries; 5 % result in broken bones and fractures. Not only do these falls result in serious injuries, but many victims go on to have a significantly reduced quality of life.
Depression, fear, and cognitive problems may affect victims who sustained injuries after a fall. In 2003, around a million and a half elderly adults lived in nursing homes. By 2030, this number is predicted to be close to three million.
Many falls and broken bones go unreported by nursing homes even though it is illegal to withhold information regarding resident injuries. Most nursing home residents fall more than one time. Residents who fall once usually average around 2.6 falls annually.
Common Causes of Broken Bones in Nursing Homes and Hospitals
Environmental Hazards: Per CDC, environmental hazards cause up to 27% of nursing home falls, many of which lead to broken bones and other serious injuries. Environmental hazards include wet floors, broken lights or faulty lighting, debris and trash in common areas, and malfunctioning equipment.
Over Medicating / Chemical Restraints: Over-medicating patients can cause falls which lead to broken bones, specifically medications that affect the central nervous system.
Malfunctioning Equipment: Malfunctioning safety equipment or failing to use safety equipments also contribute to nursing home injuries. For example, a staff member who incorrectly places a resident in a Hoyer lift and/or doesn’t use the straps correctly puts the victim at risk for serious injuries.
Using Restraints to Prevent Injuries in Nursing Homes
Restraints are typically used in nursing homes in order to prevent residents from injuring themselves. However, the CDC has suggested that these restraints do not prevent injuries at all. In fact, restraint can be the primary cause of injuries such as broken bones and fractures:
- Restraints increase the risk of death and serious injuries, especially if used excessively.
When restraints are used, residents experience reduced physical abilities and deteriorated muscles, both of which makes falling and breaking bones a higher risk.
- Bedrail restraints cause direct injury if not assembled correctly. Using outdated bedrails may also cause injuries.
Getting Help for Hospital and Nursing Home Broken Bone Lawsuits
If your loved one has suffered a broken bone due to the neglect or malpractice of nursing home or hospital staff, then an experienced medical malpractice or nursing home neglect attorney may be able to assist you in recovering for the pain and suffering, as well as additional bills that you have incurred. In addition, they will be able to assist you to make sure that the public is aware of the problem in that facility and help keep other patient’s save.
At the Brown & Brothers law firm, our medical malpractice and nursing home neglect lawyers have assisted numerous victims to pursue justice and recover financial compensation for their suffering. Call us today toll free, at 1-800-600-4210 and we will provide you with a free consultation about your case.