Nursing homes should be places of care and recovery for loved ones. Unfortunately, a significant number of fall injuries occur in nursing homes which cause physical pain and suffering, as well as emotional suffering due to significant facial injuries.
Significant Numbers of Facial Injuries Prompt Investigation
The high incidence of facial trauma in nursing home patients prompted the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) to initiate a survey. The results provide startling evidence that proper care is not always being taken.
Using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a federal program that tracks injuries reported at hospitals and emergency rooms nationwide, the JAMA survey reported the following incident data over a 5-year period:
- Over 100,000 nursing home residents required emergency care for facial trauma;
- The median age of patients injured was 84 years;
- 65% of patients were women;
- Injuries included lacerations (44%), soft tissue injury (42%) and fractures (13%); and
- The most common injuries involved nasal (68%) and orbital (8%) fractures.
Preventable Injuries May Be An Indicator of Nursing Home Negligence
Within the medical field, these type of injuries are categorized as “never events.” According to the National Quality Forum, never events are injuries or deaths that occur in a nursing facility that are identifiable and preventable. Among the list of never events explicitly named are falls that occur in the course of care. In a nursing home, elderly patients are highly dependent on their caregivers. As a result, nursing homes have a high duty of care to their patients, especially for avoiding preventable falls.
Consult a Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
If your loved one is a patient in a nursing home and has sustained a facial injury or any other type of injury as a result of a fall, family members and friends should investigate the issue thoroughly. Because such falls can cause so much pain and suffering to an elderly person, as well as lead to additional physical problems and even death, if you suspect that your elderly loved one was injured as a result of negligence, contact a nursing home neglect attorney. The legal issues surrounding nursing home negligence can be complex and it is important to address the circumstances of your elderly loved one’s situation with a nursing home negligence lawyer who will help you determine your elderly loved one’s right to financial compensation.