Broken Bones in Nursing Home Patients
Older adults in the Chicago area are often particularly vulnerable to broken bones and the increased potential of acute fractures.
Those 65 years and older, especially women, suffer from various bone diseases, including osteoporosis, where the mineral density of bone is significantly reduced.
The highest number of bone fractures in senior home patients occurs to both men and women 75 years and older.
Did your loved one sustain a broken bone or fracture in an accident as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect? If so, let our personal injury lawyers investigate and prosecute the incident without any upfront fees.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents Chicago nursing home patients who have suffered a broken bone while at a facility.
Types of Fractures Sustained by Nursing Home Patients
Broken bones are classified as traumatic fractured bones, stress fractures, or spontaneous breaks. Traumatic bone fractures in nursing home patients are typically the result of a serious fall, with associated trauma.
A spontaneous fracture is a compression fracture that typically occurs without trauma, in the hip or spine. These breaks can happen to patients who have osteoporosis when the bones become brittle and weakened.
A stress fracture is a small bone crack usually caused by repetitive motion or overuse of the feet and legs. In many nursing home scenarios, stress bone fractures go unnoticed until they become increasingly painful and severe over time.
Early treatment of stress bone fractures can be crucial to ensure the patient recovers correctly. Nursing home residents with stress fractures should have a modified care plan to ensure the best recovery.
Long-term care facilities must develop an effective care plan to treat a spontaneous fracture properly. The care plan is necessary to ensure that walking is performed correctly to improve the strength of the bone as a practical component in the recovery program.
Over-strenuous walking can exacerbate the condition during the healing process and might contribute to additional fractures.
Negligent Nursing Home Care Leaves Some Patients With Broken Bones
Unfortunately, nursing home and assisted living facilities are often understaffed or mismanaged. The staff does not always pay close attention to the patient's needs or provide the best methods to prevent broken bones, and staff does not always detect and treat fractured bones quickly when they occur.
The negligent actions of the staff or facility can cause bones to break when the patient falls or performs an inappropriate movement. Some actions of negligence or home abuse include:
- If the staff drops a patient during a move or lift (nursing home neglect)
- Inadequate staffing at a busy facility
- Lack of proper mobility training of elderly people under their care
- Failing to provide needed physical therapy
- Lack of proper supervision, such as accidents with wheelchairs
- Inadequate nursing home staff to monitor patients and prevent them from wandering away (nursing home negligence)
- Any hazardous condition that leads to a tripping and falling accident resulting in hip fractures, spinal cord injuries, other serious injuries, or wrongful death
Developing and implementing a resident health plan for every patient with osteoporosis ensures patients the proper care they need. This approach will ensure that the best foods are consumed for preventing bone loss.
Every osteoporosis patient menu should include a balance of dairy products, leafy vegetables, tofu, salmon, and almonds, along with other foods that provide adequate supplies of Vitamin D and calcium.
Most importantly, it is essential that the nursing home quickly identify any bone break as soon as it occurs, to provide home patients with proper medical treatment.
Nursing Home Patient Broken Bones FAQs
What Happens When an Elderly Person Breaks a Bone?
Broken bones and fractures and the elderly can increase the potential risk of death for a decade. Studies show that men fifty years and older who break a hip have a one third greater risk of dying compared to men without a hip fracture.
In 2016, the Journal of General Internal Medicine published an article that followed over 700 adults whose average age was the mid-80s who had suffered a hip fracture. Less than one-third of those injured with a fractured hip return to their daily activities after healing.
What are the Three Most Common Broken Bones?
The most common broken bones in older individuals in the elderly include the collarbone (clavicle), wrist, and hip. Other common broken bones among men and women include ankle fractures, vertebrate fractures, broken forearm, and shinbone fractures.
What are the Stages of Healing a Broken Bone?
Bones heal in three stages including the inflammatory stage, reparative stage, and remodeling stage. After a bone fracture, the human body triggers an onslaught of special cells to the damaged area causing the surrounding tissue to become swollen, red, and painful.
A blood clot (hematoma) forms at the site of the fracture to begin the reparative stage of bridging large and tiny broken bone pieces. A small but delicate callus forms at the site that will hold bone tissue together.
Within six weeks, the remodeling stage begins when a heart callus develops showing that the once-fractured bone tissue has reshaped to its nearly original appearance.
What to Watch for After an Elderly Person Falls?
Doctors, caregivers, and family members should continually assess the patient for any underlying new illness after the person has fallen. The caregiver should take the injured resident's blood pressure and pulse reading while in standing and seated positions.
The doctor should check the patient's vitamin D levels, perform comprehensive blood tests, and review their medications. A diagnosis of any neurological condition or underlying health condition might reveal serious medical conditions that could cause additional falls that result in severe injuries or death.
What Bone Takes the Longest to Heal?
In most individuals, the thighbone (femur) is both the strongest and longest bone in the most difficult to break without experiencing some significant trauma to the area. An upper arm (humerus) simple fracture usually heals in a few weeks. However, a forearm (tibia or fibula) fracture takes significantly longer to heal in most any other bone in the body.
What are the Most Serious Consequences of the Fall?
In the elderly, nearly every type of fall could cause some type of injury, if only lacerations or bruises. However, about 20% of all falls produce severe injuries including traumatic brain injury, head trauma, and broken bones.
Catastrophic fractures can make a challenging for patients to move around and perform everyday activities. Common severe falls tend to break the wrist, arm, ankle, and hip.
Catastrophic Results Related to Elderly Sustaining Broken Bones in Nursing Home Facilities
Bone breaks can produce catastrophic results, by decreasing home residents' quality of life, creating a dangerous secondary serious medical condition, or causing death. Broken hips and spinal cord injuries must be quickly identified and appropriately treated under the best care.
Even under the best conditions, rehabilitation can take months for full physical and emotional recovery. While healing, the patient often becomes immobile, producing other medical issues, including the development of bedsores and hygiene problems.
The failure by the staff might be defined as medical malpractice.
Nursing Home Broken Bone Lawsuits, Settlements Claims and Jury Awards
$340,000 Illinois Settlement; Nursing Facility Broken Bone Case
The 103-year-old elder abuse plaintiff needed medical attention and hygiene assistance regularly. She entered a nursing center for help to move around her room.
However, because of her frailty, she fell and suffered severe injuries from breaking her hip and fifth metacarpal bone on her right hand. Also, she suffered a fractured neck. As she recuperated from these injuries at the facility, she developed bedsores on her heel.
She sued the nursing facility claiming negligence. Her complaint cited the defendant's facility with negligent care and supervision. She pointed to her injuries, the costs of treatment, and the long-term suffering as proof of negligence.
The personal injury claim was settled out of court for a reported $340,000.
$400,000 Illinois Settlement; Nursing Center Broken Bone Case
A female long-term senior resident in her mid-70s requires lots of assistance moving around the care facility, using the washroom, changing, and getting out of bed due to her age infirmary. Her doctors said that she was a high risk of falling, hip fractures, and injuring herself.
The nursing home staff was tasked with developing a tailored plan for her care. However, on the day of the accident, a nurse deviated from the prescribed policies and procedures.
The nurse attempted to get the resident into bed without using a gait belt around the woman's waist. As a result, the nurse dropped the resident, who fractured her femur and sustained other personal injuries.
The injured woman sued the facility for negligence and sought compensation for the pain, disability, and expenses that the accident created. The nursing facility had little defense because evidence showed they did not follow the woman's plan of care.
The defendant agreed to a $400,000 settlement with the plaintiff that was paid by the nursing home insurance company.
$799,000 Illinois Settlement; Nursing Center Fractured Bone Case
A seventy-year-old who had been enjoying relatively good health when brought a civil lawsuit against the Illinois nursing facility where she resided after another person hit her with their wheelchair, causing injuries. The electric wheelchair could reach high speeds.
The lawsuit claims that the other person drove their wheelchair recklessly several times before the accident. The other person had poor muscle control and should not have been driving it without assistance.
The wheelchair crashed into the elderly resident and caused significant injury, including a broken ankle requiring substantial medical attention. Her medical care costs were extensive. And the injuries decreased her quality of living because of her pain and disability.
The victim filed a civil lawsuit against the nursing home after evidence emerged that the staff knew the other person was reckless with their wheelchair and failed to take action. The defendant agreed to settle the case out of court and provided the victim $799,000 in compensation.
$225,000 Illinois Settlement; Nursing Facility Fractured Bone Case
An eighty-year-old long-term resident filed a civil lawsuit against the nursing home after an accident occurred while he was sleeping on an inflatable bed. Reports differ as to why he was not resting on a traditional bed.
One night, he broke his hip after rolling off the bed. His injuries took significant time and care to heal. The injured victim's medical expenses totaled more than $100,000.
After his healing, he still complained about the pain and limited mobility it caused him. The man filed a civil lawsuit claiming that the nursing home knew he was a risk for falls but did not erect proper safeguards to protect him.
The plaintiff (victim) contends that their failure to perform their duties caused him to fall and sustain personal injuries, financial costs, and other losses. The defendant (nursing facility) argued the plaintiff should share some of the blame.
However, in the end, the nursing home would not claim that it was blameless for their mistakes because staff never set up bed rails or use similar preventative devices. The long-term care neglect attorneys negotiated a $225,000 settlement, which amounted to more than double his medical bills.
Hiring a Chicago Nursing Home Broken Bone Lawyer
Did you or a family member suffer a bone break in a senior home, while under the care of others? If so, it might be the result of negligent actions by the staff members and facility.
Let Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC help you obtain financial compensation to cover your losses. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with nursing home abuse cases throughout Illinois.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers assist Illinois caregiver abuse victims in their recovery for the suffering, pain, damages, and injuries they have endured. Our legal representation can hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
All sensitive information you share with our law firm remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Call our skilled nursing home abuse attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form for a free consultation concerning the nursing center abuse claim.
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