What is a Nursing Home Fall?
The federal government (CMS) defines a nursing home fall as an event where a resident impacts the ground or an object touching the ground from a sitting, lying or standing position. If a resident loses their balance and the staff intervenes before they actually impact something, this can be considered a fall as well.
Fall Type Injuries
With an elderly patient population, fall injuries can be catastrophic. An estimated 25% of falls among residents in nursing homes result in serious fractures, lacerations, or the need for hospital care. Common fall injuries include hip fractures, broken femurs, brain bleeds, subdural hematomas, ankle fractures and broken arms.
Are Falls Preventable?
When a resident is admitted to a nursing home for the first time, they are assessed for fall risk using the Morse fall scale. This is a fall risk assessment which scores candidates from 0 to 24 based on their fall risk assessment. Once a resident is determined to be at risk for falls, proper fall preventative measures need to be put in place. Falls can be prevented through proper care. Each resident in a nursing home has a specific care plan which is created to meet the needs of the specific resident. If a resident falls in the nursing home, or is at risk for falls, the care plan must address these issues to prevent future falls. Every fall may not be preventable, however, with appropriate care is possible to significantly reduce both the amount of falls in a nursing home and the injuries related to those falls.
So How Are Falls Prevented?
There are many options used in long-term care facilities to prevent falls. Some common options include the use of a sitter, a bed alarm, a chair alarm, evaluating the medications the resident is taking, improving the lighting of the room, clearing halls and rooms of clutter and objects, and increased supervision of the at risk resident.
Florida Nursing Home Lawsuit
Recent studies confirm that a large number of falls in nursing home resident populations are preventable. This research suggests that in many instances, the nursing home was below the standard of care, also referred to as negligent, in failing to appreciate the risks of the patient's falling in the facility. The nursing home is legally required to assess and implement fall preventative techniques. Failure to do that may bring about a viable nursing home neglect fall lawsuit. If you suspect that your loved ones nursing home fall may have been prevented through appropriate care call us now for a free case consultation. We can be reached at 561-316-7207.