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What are some common nursing home injuries and accidents?

Although some injuries that occur in a nursing home may simply be incidental to a patient’s age, other injuries may come as a result of dangerous conditions, neglect or even worse — abuse. It is often difficult to know exactly how an injury occurred, but there are some common types of injuries and accidents that you should watch out for.

— Failure to give proper medication. Many patients in nursing homes require daily medications. If you consider that a nursing home can have up to a 100 residents with each one requiring their own medication, it is relatively easy to see how a nurse or caregiver could get in a hurry or not pay attention. They may give a patient the wrong dosage of medication or even give a patient a medication that was meant for another patient.

— Allowing bedsores to develop. As a person ages, their skin often becomes less elastic and there is a loss of fatty tissue. If they are immobile and unable to get up out of bed very often, they can develop bedsores, or rather, pressure ulcers from remaining in a certain position for too long, since this puts frequent pressure on the skin. Unfortunately, bedsores are a common injury for patients who are neglected and are most often seen on tailbones, hips, ankles and heels.

— Nursing home falls. Perhaps one of the most common type of accident to occur in a nursing home is when a patient falls. In fact, the Center for Disease Control states that each year there are almost three-quarters of patients in nursing homes who have fallen. Falls even account for around 1,800 deaths in nursing homes each year. Although senior citizens are more prone to this type of accident due to weakness in muscles, dizziness and gait problems, it can also happen because of environmental reasons, such as as wet floors or even poor lighting.

Individuals who have sustained a nursing home injury may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and could benefit from learning more about their valuable legal rights.

Source: FindLaw, “3 Common Nursing Home Injuries,” Le Trinh, June 08, 2015


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