Broken Bones in Chicago Nursing Homes
Broken bones and fractures are a serious concern in nursing homes due to the increased risk of falls among elderly patients. Falls can cause serious damage, and many seniors suffer from hip, wrist, and compression fractures.
Nursing home staff must take extra precautions to prevent falls and protect residents from potential harm. Those 65 years and older, especially women in nursing homes, suffer from various bone diseases, including osteoporosis, where the mineral density of bone is significantly reduced.
Most bone fractures in senior home patients occur in men and women 75 years and older.
Did you suffer broken bones in an accident due to nursing home abuse or neglect? If so, let our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC investigate what happened if you suffered a broken bone while at a facility.
Our legal team could file a personal injury lawsuit if you suffered broken bones due to someone else's negligence. Call our nursing home abuse lawyers at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Types of Nursing Home Fractures
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 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. A spine or hip fracture can happen to osteoporosis patients 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.
An unidentified broken hip fracture could create a higher risk of further injury and potential death in elderly patients if the unexplained fracture is not treated quickly.
Receiving Proper Care is Crucial After a Fracture Injury Occurred from Falling
Early treatment of a nursing home resident with stress bone fractures can be crucial to ensure correct recovery.
Nursing home residents with stress fractures should have a modified care plan to ensure the best recovery.
Every nursing home facility must develop an effective plan to prevent falls and properly treat a spontaneous traumatic fracture. 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.
Elderly residents strenuously 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 homes 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 the staff does not always detect and treat fractured bones quickly when they occur.
The negligent actions of staff members or nursing home/assisted living facility can cause bones to break when the patient falls or performs an inappropriate movement. Some actions of negligence creating an increased risk of harm include:
- If a nursing home staff member drops a patient during a move or lift (nursing home neglect)
- Inadequate staffing at a busy facility sufficient to protect residents
- Lack of proper mobility training for senior citizens under their care
- Failing to provide elderly nursing home residents needed physical therapy
- Lack of proper supervision, such as accidents with wheelchairs
- Inadequate nursing home staff members 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 the elderly population in nursing homes with osteoporosis can improve health. Ensuring every nursing home resident consumes the best foods can help prevent bone loss and traumatic fractures.
Most importantly, it is essential that nursing home staff members quickly identify any unexplained broken bones to provide nursing home patients with proper medical treatment.
Catastrophic Results Related to the Elderly Sustaining Broken Bones in Nursing Home Facilities
Broken bones can produce catastrophic results, 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 with the best care.
Even under the best conditions, rehabilitation can take nursing home residents months for full physical and emotional recovery.
While healing, a disabled or elderly nursing home resident 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, Settlement 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 the 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 establishment claiming negligence. Her complaint cited the defendant's facility with negligent care and supervision. She pointed to her injuries from the nursing home fall, 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 in the resident's room.
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 fall injuries.
The injured woman sued the facility for negligence and sought compensation for the pain, disability, and expenses that the accident created. The nursing home had little defense because evidence showed they did not follow the woman's care plan.
The defendant agreed to a $400,000 settlement paid by the nursing home insurance company for her complications-related injuries.
$799,000 Illinois Settlement; Nursing Center Fractured Bone Case
A seventy-year-old who had been enjoying relatively good health when she brought a civil lawsuit against the Illinois nursing care home 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 driven it without assistance.
The wheelchair crashed into the elderly resident and caused significant injury, including an ankle bone fracture requiring substantial medical attention in the emergency department. Her medical costs were extensive. The injuries decreased her quality of living because of her pain and disability.
The defendant agreed to settle the case out of court and provided the victim $799,000 in compensation.
Nursing Home Abuse FAQ
Below are some frequently asked questions raised by families who have a loved one with a fractured bone due to nursing home neglect and physical abuse.
Should you have additional questions about your legal rights and options, we invite you to contact our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers for a free consultation.
What Happens When an Elderly Person Breaks a Bone?
Broken bones and fractures and the elderly can increase the potential risk factors 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 than men without a hip fracture.
In 2016, the Journal of General Internal Medicine published an article that followed over 700 adults in nursing homes whose average age was the mid-80s who had suffered a hip fracture.
The study showed broken bones occur from neglect when the nursing home fails to protect residents. The risk factors involved residents falling when unaccompanied or unsupervised, leading to a broken bone.
What are the Three Most Common Broken Bones in Nursing Homes?
While some unexplained fractures might result from physical abuse, most broken bones in nursing homes are from a lack of supervision or nursing facilities failing to follow fall prevention protocols.
Nursing homes' most common broken bones include the collarbone (clavicle), wrist, and hip. Other common nursing home fractures among men and women include ankle fractures, vertebrate fractures, broken forearms, and skull fractures.
A list of commonly broken bones in nursing homes, include:
- Compression fractures
- Stable fractures
- Pathological fractures
- Spiral fractures
- Hairline fractures
- Compression fractures
- Displaced fractures
- Comminuted fractures
- Impacted fractures
- Open or closed 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 fracture site 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.
What Should I Watch for After Elderly Nursing Home Residents Fall?
Doctors, caregivers, and family members should continually assess the patient for any underlying new illness after the person has fallen.
Diagnosing any neurological condition or underlying health condition might reveal serious medical conditions or injuries from physical abuse that could cause additional falls that result in another bone fracture, severe injury, or death.
What are the Most Serious Consequences of the Fall?
Nearly every type of fall involving senior citizens 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 it challenging for disabled and elderly patients to move around and perform everyday activities. Commonly broken bones in nursing from severe falls include fractured wrists, arms, ankles, and hips.
Unexplained fractures and severely broken bones in nursing homes could indicate physical abuse.
Hiring a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse 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 result from 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 facility abuse cases throughout Illinois.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers assist Illinois caregiver abuse victims in their recovery from the suffering, pain, damages, and injuries they have endured.
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.