Nursing Home Neglect Falls
There many ways in which preventable falls occur in nursing homes, there are falls that happen when a resident is not given the assistance they need in walking or transfers and end up losing strength and balance and then fall. Loss of balance also leads to falls in the bathroom and when dressing. There are also falls when residents are not placed in a wheelchair or chair properly, or the wrong size chair and they slide out and injure themselves. Many falls happen when a resident is dropped from a patient lift injuries or slips out of a improperly attached sling. Falls in nursing homes lead to many types of serious injury including fractured hips, pelvic and femur fractures, and head injuries many with subdural hematomas.
Preventing Nursing Home Neglect Falls
According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, there are causes for fall in nursing homes:
- Muscle weakness and walking or gait problems are the most common causes of falls among nursing home residents. These problems account for about 24% of the falls in nursing homes.
- Environmental hazards in nursing homes cause 16% to 27% of falls among residents.
- Such hazards include wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs.
- Medications can increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries. Drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, are of particular concern. Fall risk is significantly elevated during the three days following any change in these types of medications.
- Other causes of falls include difficulty in moving from one place to another (for example, from the bed to a chair), poor foot care, poorly fitting shoes, and improper or incorrect use of walking aids.
According to the CDC, each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
Falls Are Serious and Costly:
- One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
- Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
- Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion annually. Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total.
Mandated Reporting of Nursing Home Neglect Falls
According to Minnesota law requiring mandated reporting for health care providers nursing homes must report to the state pursuant to Minnesota Statute 144.7065, Subd 5.(7) patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a facility.
Nursing Home Neglect Falls Attorney
If you have questions about nursing home abuse and neglect and fractures or other fall related injuries contact Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation. There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer. Mr. LaBore can be reached directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.