NURSING HOME NEGLIGENCE ATTORNEYS – HELPING THE ELDERLY IN PENNSYLVANIA
Fractures are unfortunately one of the most prevalent types of injuries suffered by residents of nursing homes. Unlike a young, healthy person sustaining a fracture, a fracture to an elderly person, tends to be more serious. Elderly individuals are also particularly susceptible to falls and may have weak bones due to osteoporosis. Therefore precautions most be taken. A particularly frail resident, with osteoporosis, on medications should not be allowed to walk without assistance. Nursing home staff must use common sense to avoid falls and potential fractures.
In many cases a fracture may be diagnosed, but there is no indication how the fracture occurred. This should raise a red flag. If the nursing home resident has a trauma significant enough to result in a fracture there should be some documentation in the medical chart. Although sometimes residents have difficulty communicating and cannot report the injury, they will often have symptoms that should not be ignored. Typically with a fracture the patient will also have bruising and complaints of pain. At Rosenbaum and Associates our nursing home lawyers know how to do the necessary investigation to determine how and why a patient suffers a facture. Even when the nursing home will not cooperate this will deter us from getting the answers. Our lawyers have helped nursing home victims from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh as well as New Jersey.
If the injury is not properly documented this could be an indication of understaffing or possibly an effort to cover up the cause of the injury. Both federal and Pennsylvania regulations require proper documentation of injuries and this can be used to establish negligence.
Some cases do not involve determining whether negligence led to the fracture but whether the facility was negligent in recognizing and treating the fracture. A nursing home resident should not be allowed to suffer without proper treatment. In addition, complications from fractures can lead to permanent loss of mobility an sometimes death.
A related issue is the pain and suffering associated with fractures in the elderly. Studies have found those individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease experience pain more acutely because they are uncertain as to how to communicate the issue and therefore do not see any relief in sight.
If a resident has a fracture it is important to determine how the bone was fractured and whether it was the result of negligence and if it was treated quickly and adequately. If the resident fell the nursing facility may be liable for failure to upkeep the premises or may have breached their duty to the resident to care for them. Often residents fall out of their bed, or while attempting to get themselves to the bathroom. If the patient is a fall risk then the beds should be kept low to the ground and padding should be placed on the floor. This will significantly reduce the risk of sustaining a fracture.
If you have concerns about a fracture or other trauma to your loved one at a nursing home call one of our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at 1-800-7-legal-7 or contact us on line for a Free Evaluation.