Nursing Home Injury | Fall


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Each year in the United States, thousands of preventable injuries and deaths result from nursing home neglect and elder abuse. Abuse or negligence in assisted care facilities can take many forms, but the outcomes are typically the same: patients have delayed diagnoses, suffer from bedsores, infections, and are at high risk for fall-related injuries.

Nursing home patients suffer from overmedicating, malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, and often fracture frail bones from slip and fall accidents. Some estimates note that nursing home residents fall at twice the rate of other elderly populations.

Many patients are prone to injury and illness, and health care facilities have a responsibility to assist residents and do everything possible to prevent serious falls, infections and premature deaths. Nursing homes may be liable for improper care and claims may be filed if patient neglect can be documented and proven.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio personal injury attorney with experience in injuries and deaths due to nursing home neglect. Mr. Lyon has represented plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of medical negligence, wrongful death and injury claims. 

The Lyon Firm has investigated  Trilogy, Signature, Diversicare, Genesis, ManorCare and Laurel Healthcare facilities in Ohio. 


Understaffed Nursing Homes


As the baby boomer generation ages, many families find themselves placing loved ones in the hands of nursing home staff and physicians. The nursing homes are pitched with flashy marketing materials and carry names that are meant to inspire a sense of comfort.

Yet, contrary to the representations and promises of providing a safe and healthy environment, many Cincinnati and Ohio facilities operated by Diversicare, Genesis, Manorcare, Trilogy, Signature and Laurel healthcare may fall below the appropriate medical standard of care providing environments that are unclean and unfit for dignified end of life care.

In many cases, the poor care is due to understaffing. Understaffing places more profits in the hands of the owners of the nursing home but sacrifices the quality of patient care, as there are fewer nurses and staff to provide timely and comprehensive care.

In addition, many elderly nursing home residents have limitations communicating, and the neglect and abuse may continue for long periods of time without detection.

Too often families only learn after a physical injury appears that their loved has been suffering due to poor health care and promises of quality care have been broken. Such neglect, and at times financial fraud, can leave the patient in failing health and the family feeling guilty for the placement and lack of oversight.

An experienced Cincinnati nursing home lawyer can offer the patient and family the opportunity to gain more information, answer questions, and provide adequate compensation to the patient and family that the nursing home has been unwilling to provide outside of the court system.


Common Nursing Home Injuries in Ohio


Though older populations are vulnerable to many diseases, these common nursing home injuries are often preventable, and may be evidence of negligence or abuse.

  • Bed sores
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Severe Urinary Tract Infections
  • Drug Resistant Infections
  • Bone Fractures
  • Head Trauma
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Bruising and Bleeding
  • Wrongful Death

Nursing Home Infection Injury


Over a million Americans live in nursing homes and experience an average of 2 million infections a year. Infections in elder patients are associated with high rates of morbidity, hospitalization, extended hospital stays and high healthcare expenses.

Creating more issues in infection control are the overuse of antibiotics, and an older population. The most common infections seen in nursing home patients include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Gastroenteritis

Bedsores are ulcers caused by a number of factors, including when immobile residents are not being turned appropriately. Bed sores vary in severity, but if left untreated they can reach the muscle, bone or tendon. The elderly have a high risk of developing bed sores due to thin skin, malnutrition, and poor circulation.


Determining the Causes of Patient Injury


If you believe a loved one’s injury at a nursing home, there may be tell-tale signs that can indicate abuse or neglect. Some common signs of nursing home injuries caused by abuse and neglect include:

  • Sudden withdrawal of patient, especially in those who are typically outgoing
  • Noticeable agitation
  • A reluctance to speak when staff members are around
  • Inexplicable fear of physical contact
  • Unusual behavioral changes
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Signs of malnourishment
  • Bedsores
  • Over-medication symptoms—lethargy and seizures

There are many other warning signs that indicate common nursing home injuries that result from neglect or abuse. If a loved one suffers injuries requiring emergency medical treatment or is frequently ill, there may be cause for an investigation. Also, if you notice a patient is suddenly sedated without an explanation, this could be a sign of overmedicating.


Can I Sue a Nursing Home?


When accidents occur and nursing home residents are not protected, The Lyon Firm can determine the cause of patient’s damages. Liability must be established, and records may show an unacceptable standard of care. If it is determined that a fatal infection or injury was preventable, and nursing home staff were negligent, the family of a victim may have a successful claim.

The Nursing Home Reform Act established in 1987 lists the basic rights for nursing home residents. Nursing home patients have a right to the following:

  • Freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
  • Freedom from physical restraints
  • Privacy
  • Medical, physical, psychological, and social needs
  • To be treated with dignity
  • To exercise self-determination
  • To communicate freely
  • Participate in the review of one’s care plan
  • To voice grievances without discrimination

Nursing homes and assisted care facilities operated by Trilogy, Signature, Diversicare, Genesis, Manorcare and Laurel healthcare are required to adhere to these rights.

When nursing home staff fails to follow federal regulations, fails to follow safe procedures, and fails to protect patients, they may be held responsible for their negligence.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
A Voice for Those who have suffered 

Why are these cases important?

The transition into a nursing home is difficult for both patients and their families. It is a sacrifice, and residents rely heavily on the compassion and competence of nursing home staff and management to provide the best care possible. When nursing homes fail to provide the professional care they promise, and injuries and deaths result, they may be held accountable by Ohio law.

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Questions about Product Liability & Case Types

What is nursing home neglect litigation?

Nursing home neglect has been a serious issue for decades now, and the management of facilities must be held accountable when instances of negligence affect your family.

If an Ohio nursing home fails to provide the professional care they have advertised, and patient injuries and deaths result, the companies may be held responsible in Ohio courts. Large settlements have resulted from the families of victims filing injury claims against Diversicare, Genesis, ManorCare and Laurel homes.

What are common types of nursing home abuse?

Nursing home neglect injuries may result from understaffing, underqualified staff, bad management and poor communication. Abuse and neglect can result in dangerous bedsores and other serious infections. Common types of nursing home abuse may include:

Does a fall in the nursing home count?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates approximately 1,800 nursing home residents die from dangerous falls each year. Residents who survive falls may sustain hip or head injuries which can lead to permanent disabilities.

Because of the new surroundings and staff neglect, many newly admitted nursing home residents will suffer a fall shortly after their arrival. Understaffing is a big factor in these injuries, and the management of nursing homes have a responsibility to prevent falls and accidents.

What about Bed Sores?

Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, and skin lesions can be very painful and lead to more serious health problems if not treated promptly. Nursing home staff are well aware that patients confined to beds need to be turned regularly to reduce the risk of developing ulcers. However, when nursing homes are understaffed or fail to properly attend to residents, patients suffer the consequences.

Bedsores, also called decubitus ulcers, are injuries to skin and underlying tissue from prolonged skin pressure. Bedsores commonly develop on bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone. Common Contributing Factors for Bedsores:

  • Pressure—bedsores are caused by pressure against the skin that limits blood flow to the skin. Blood flow is essential to delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissue.
  • Friction—skin rubbing against clothing or bedding makes skin more vulnerable to injury.
  • Immobility
  • Overmedicated patients
  • Understaffing at nursing homes
  • Lack of sensory perception
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Nursing home neglect
  • Medical conditions affecting blood flow—diabetes and vascular disease

People most at risk of bedsores have medical conditions that limit their ability to change positions on their own. Bedsores can develop quickly. Most sores heal with treatment, but some are more severe and lead to serious drug resistant infections. Other signs of nursing abuse include:

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Restraint marks
  • Lack of hygiene maintenance
  • Untidy living conditions
  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Bedsores and poor skin conditions
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Unusually sedated residents
  • Weight loss
  • Broken bones & fractures
  • Bruising from unknown injuries
  • A patient that withdraws socially over time
  • Entirely non-communicative patient
  • A fear of physical contact

Bedsores are categorized into four stages, based on their depth, severity and other characteristics. They include:

  • Stage I—a persistent redness, swelling and tenderness on a patient’s skin.
  • Stage II—a loss of some of skin thickness. Appears as a blister, abrasion or shallow crater.
  • Stage III—damage to the full thickness of the skin. A deep lesion or crater is present.
  • Stage IV—a complete loss of the skin. Muscle or bone is exposed.

A bedsore can advance quickly when patients do not receive proper treatment and care in a nursing home or assisted living center. There are various factors associated with developing bedsores, though most involve neglect, understaffing, overmedicating, a lack of nutritional care and patient immobility.


Common Sites of Pressure Sores


  • Tailbone & Buttocks
  • Shoulder blades
  • Spine
  • Backs of arms & legs
  • Back or sides of the head
  • Hips
  • Lower back
  • Heels & ankles
  • Behind the knees

Complications of Bedsores & Skin Infections


  • Cellulitis—an infection of the skin and connected soft tissues.
  • Bone and joint infections—Infections from pressure sores can pass into joints and bones, damaging cartilage and tissue. Bone infections may reduce the function of joints and limbs.
  • Amputation
  • Sepsis
  • Cancer—long-term, unhealed wounds can develop into a type of squamous cell carcinoma
Do these cases settle?

Nursing homes tend to settle out of court when accidents and wrongful deaths occur, and you may seek legal counsel to guide you through the legal process. 

Your Right to Safety

Your Loved Ones Should Not Have to Suffer in Their Homes

The elderly population in nursing homes and assisted living facilities around Ohio frequently suffer injuries like bedsores due to understaffing and neglect. Some underlying issues that lead to dangerous skin ulcers include improper medication, a lack of supervision, malnutrition, inadequate wound care, and a delay in sending patients to medical centers and hospitals. These severe injuries are almost always preventable, and nursing homes have a duty to ensure that residents are kept safe and as healthy as possible. Nursing home neglect may lead to severe infection, amputations, and death.

Good quality care in nursing homes includes evaluating medical quality, nurse staff levels, sanitary conditions, and health inspection reports.Overall staffing appears to be a huge factor in the level of care provided. Residents need continual attention and reports aim to monitor the average hours a day a patient receives care from registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses and certified nurse assistants.

Popular Ohio Nursing Home Management
that have Faced Penalty

In recent years, several Ohio nursing homes have faced personal injury claims for failing to protect residents. 

Diversicare of St. Theresa

Cincinnati, Ohio

Diversicare of Siena Woods

Dayton, Ohio

Diversicare of Bradford Place

Hamilton, Ohio

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