Ohio Catastrophic Injury Lawyer and Cincinnati nursing home attorney Investigates Common Nursing Home Injuries & Illnesses
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 long-term care facilities in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
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 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
- 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:
- Skin and soft tissue infections
- Urinary tract infections
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
- 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
- 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
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.
If a loved one has suffered from a preventable injury at a nursing home, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.