Hip fractures in elderly patients can result in severe complications which include a significant chance of mortality. As patients age, they experience an elevated risk of suffering a fracture during a fall, making it extremely important that nursing care staff take appropriate measures to prevent falls.
Hip injuries impair mobility and often require surgical treatment followed by a long and painful recovery. It is during this recovery process that many elderly patients experience severe and sometimes life threatening complications that are a direct result of being immobile for extended periods of time.
Complications Due to Immobility Following A Hip Fracture
When patients find themselves in bed and unable to change positions for long periods of time; they are susceptible to complications that can arise both from the initial injury as well as from the prolonged period of immobility. Such complications include the following.
- Bedsores, which result from stress placed on joints in the body that bear the person’s weight for an extended period of time. These sores are the result of tissue death that is caused by reduced circulation caused by the pressure on these joints.
- Blood clots. Clots are also related to inactivity and poor circulation and often form in the patient’s legs or lungs. These pose a severe threat as clots from the legs may move to the heart or brain and a blood clot in the lungs can be life threatening.
- Urinary tract infections are often the result of prolonged periods of immobility and diminished hygiene.
- Remaining in bed for long periods of time may also result in an increased risk of pneumonia.
- Patients who suffer a fractured hip are also at an increased risk of suffering additional fractures in the future.
Mortality Due to Complications
Roughly 8% of elderly patients who suffer a hip fracture die within a month of sustaining the injury. Blood clots and bedsores pose a great threat to these patients as they are normally the cause of more severe complications to follow. Mortality following hip injuries can be linked to infections that result from the complications that accompany immobility and medical conditions that could be more easily prevented or managed if the patient were more active. It would seem that the most effective way to prevent mortality due to hip fractures would be to prevent the fractures from occurring in the first place so that patients do not find themselves with limited mobility.
The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC believe that our elderly deserve the best treatment available and nursing facilities must put their personalized needs above all else. If your loved one was injured due to poor or negligent care, contact us today to speak with an attorney about your rights and legal options. We would be happy to arrange a free consultation to be able to examine the details of your case and answer any questions or concerns that you may have about your loved one’s rights, the legal process and how best to proceed.