Hip fractures from falls in nursing homes are an all too common occurrence. A resident who suffers a broken hip from a fall out of bed, a wheelchair, while walking, or during a transfer can suddenly have a downward spiral in his or her overall health. Too often, a patient who suffers this type of hip injury seems to never recover and develops other serious health issues after the even. Many times, an otherwise healthy resident passes away just shortly after the hip fracture due to the complications related to that condition.
Falls are very common among nursing home residents. They are most prevalent in elderly patients residing in nursing homes, and about 10% to 25% of falls result in hospital admission or fractures. About 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries and those who survive falls frequently sustain hip fractures and head injuries that result in permanent disability and reduced quality of life.
Falling can be a sign of other health problems. People in nursing homes are generally frailer than older adults able to live independently. Nursing home patients are usually older, have more chronic conditions, and have more difficulty walking. They also tend to have memory problems, to have difficulty with activities of daily living, and to need help getting around or taking care of themselves. All of these factors can increase the risk of falling in elderly residents.
Nursing Home Duty To Prevent Falls
The nursing home staff is required to perform a fall risk assessment for every resident at the facility. This should be done at the time of admission to the facility and periodically during the admission because many residents have changes in their condition after they become a resident of the nursing home. When a patient is determined to be a high risk for falling, the staff is required to implement a plan of care to prevent a resident fall.
Interventions to prevent falls include the keeping beds low to the floor, the use of floor mats next to beds, and the use of alarms for both beds and wheelchairs. Residents should be closely supervised at all times and staff should respond quickly to alarms when a fall risk patient attempts to get out of bed or a wheelchair. Wheelchairs should have proper foot pedals and have the wheels locked while the resident is stationary. Bed rails and lap belts for wheelchairs can be used upon a physician recommendation and request from the family.
Legal Rights After A Michigan Nursing Home Fall Injury
Individuals who suffer hip injuries or other fractures due to a fall in a nursing home do have legal rights. When a resident falls due to the negligent act from a nurse or caregiver in a Michigan nursing home, it can give rise to a Michigan nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit.
Contact a Michigan Nursing Home Fall and Injury Attorney
If your loved one was injured from a fall at a nursing home, you should contact our law office immediately! We have obtained substantial settlements against nursing homes for residents and their families in fall injury cases. Call us now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of our experienced Michigan nursing home fall injury attorneys about your case.