Nursing Home Falls

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Elderly with Hip Fractures in Nursing Homes Face Grim Prognosis

posted October 20th, 2014

When an elderly person is injured in a nursing home, his or her chances of survival can become slim. If the nursing facility is understaffed or lacks resources, an elderly person may be unable to ever...

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Lawyers For People Injured In Falls At Nursing Homes

More than 1,800 people die each year in nursing home falls. Knowing the inherent risks that falls pose to nursing home patients, nursing homes need to create and implement a fall prevention program for every patient.

Fall prevention for nursing home patients

Fall prevention programs should identify the characteristics that put the patient at risk of falling and create safeguards for staff to implement that will minimize the risk of falls in the future.

Even after a fall-related care plan is in place, nursing home staff should always be on the lookout for residents who may require assistance getting around. If residents have a history of falls, the facility should consider using alarms on chairs or beds to notify the staff when the person attempts to walk on their own.

Frequent Causes of Nursing Home Falls

Some of the common causes of nursing home falls include:

  • Hazards in the nursing home – wet floors, poor lighting, improper bed heights, improperly maintained wheelchairs, or equipment left out of place
  • Medications – drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as sedatives and anti-anxiety (or psychoactive) drugs
  • Improperly fitting shoes or incorrect walking aids
  • Frequent use of restraints
  • Failure to provide assistance or provide specialized bathing equipment, including chairs, stands and grips
  • Transfer into and out of bed
  • Failing to engage locks on wheelchairs
  • Failure to maintain stairways and walkways

Nursing Home Liability For Falls

When evaluating nursing home fall cases, the nursing home attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers evaluates the circumstances surrounding the specific incident as well as the patient’s fall-related history at the facility. Not all fall-related injuries involving nursing home patients will give rise to compensation. However, in many situations, there is a pattern of falls and a clear failure on the part of staff to implement fall-prevention precautions.

Free legal consultations from experienced nursing home attorneys

Our Chicago nursing home lawyers know how important it is to review the patient’s complete chart from a facility to evaluate liability in nursing home fall cases. When liability is established, the facility may be responsible for the associated pain, decline in the quality of life, and medical expenses related to treatment.

Resources:

CDC: Nursing Home Falls

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Falls in Nursing Homes

Falls in the nursing home: are they preventable? J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2004 Nov-Dec;5(6):401-6.