Nursing homes are supposed to be safe, secure places where our loved ones will receive the care they require. Unfortunately, sometimes the care they get is less than adequate. When a nursing home patient is seriously harmed because of nursing home neglect or abuse, they may be entitled to compensation. There are a number of injuries that may occur at nursing homes. These personal injuries in Mobile, Alabama should not occur and are often preventable.
Types of Injuries That Occur in Nursing Homes
There are a number of different types of nursing home injuries in Mobile, AL. It is important to know that neglect is one of the most common reasons for harm to the elderly in nursing facilities. These facilities are required to provide a standard of care; however, if they fail to do so, they could be negligent. The most common types of injuries to nursing home patients include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Pressure sores
Broken bones may occur when a person falls and hits the ground or bumps into furniture. Because the body’s bones are less dense with age, older individuals are more susceptible to broken bones from falls. The most common type of broken bone injury in nursing homes is a fractured hip. The hips are more fragile than other bones and easily broken when an older individual falls.
Head injuries can be serious and may be life-threatening. A traumatic head injury can happen when an older person falls without being able to adequately catch himself. The result is that a person can fall with great force to the head. Older individuals and those who are ill could find it much more difficult to prevent falls. Additionally, some medications can cause people to become dizzy or unsteady.
Pressure sores are also known as pressure ulcers. These sores may start out as seemingly minor injuries but left untreated can quickly develop into severe and deadly injuries. Pressure sores present various levels of severity. When they worsen, they cause the skin to break and then an infection is more likely to occur. Infections can be difficult to treat and may lead to a patient’s death.
Slip and Fall Nursing Home Accidents and Injuries in Mobile
Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of injuries to the elderly. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 800,000 patients a year are treated for serious injuries due to falls. Many of these patients suffer broken hips or head injuries, two of the most common personal injuries in nursing homes in Mobile and elsewhere. With the many dangers to the elderly because of falling, nursing homes should be particularly careful when caring for patients.
Nursing homes should have sufficient staff to support the number of patients under their care. Patients who are unable to walk without assistance may try to walk on their own if they do not have help from a caregiver. Insufficient care is one of the reasons elderly patients fall in nursing homes. Other causes of falls in nursing homes include items blocking walkways, cords or tubes that are in the way and insufficient room for patients to properly get through hallways and doorways.
Prevention of Nursing Home Personal Injuries
Nursing home injuries are quite often preventable. Nursing homes must take steps necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of patients in their facilities. They are responsible for providing a safe environment. If they fail to do so, they could be considered negligent. Facilities should have enough staff members on duty to properly supervise all of the people who live there. Employees must be properly trained and managed, so they are aware of the practices and procedures in place to keep people safe.
Pressure ulcers commonly develop on individuals who are bedridden. These individuals must be continually repositioned to avoid bed sores from occurring. When a patient has one or more bed sores, it is often a sign of neglectful care. These painful and severe injuries are preventable with adequate patient treatment. The facility itself should be maintained and railings, grab bars and other helpful appliances must be installed to assist people throughout the building.
Negligence in Nursing Home Neglect Cases
Negligent care in nursing homes results in serious personal injuries in Mobile, Alabama. There are important factors to consider when determining negligence. The facility must have a duty of care to the patient, and the patient must have sustained an injury. Additionally, the provider must have done something or failed to do something which resulted in an injury. The caregiver should have known that their actions could have caused an injury or death. In some cases, an injured or ill patient was not provided with timely medical care, which contributed to or worsened the condition.
Sometimes seemingly minor incidents can contribute to a serious health decline of an older adult. For example, a person suffers a fall and fractures his hip. The patient then required surgery and is bedridden for a time while the bones heal. While the patient is bedridden, he develops bed sores because he was unable to move on his own and the provider did not reposition him. The sore worsened and became infected, eventually causing sepsis and the patient’s death. Under the circumstances such as these, the nursing home might be liable for the patient’s injury and ultimately contributed to his death. This neglect should have been prevented because the provider knows the dangers involved in not maintaining a standard of care.
How a Personal Injury Attorney in Mobile Will Help
Victims of nursing home neglect and their families may be entitled to compensation for their injuries or death. Damages in cases of personal injury in Mobile, Alabama include such things as medical costs, medication expenses, surgery, ongoing treatments, and rehabilitation. Additional punitive damages may also apply, such as money for pain and suffering and legal fees. An attorney will review the details of your case and assist in protecting your rights and obtaining the money you are owed. Contact Charles McCorquodale Law to request a free consultation to discuss your legal options today.