Fall injuries in Palm Beach County nursing homes are the most common injury in nursing home neglect lawsuits. Comorbidities that increase a nursing home resident's fall risk include dementia, unsteady gait, prescription medication use and a history of prior falls.
Palm Beach Nursing Home Falls: A Big Deal
Elderly nursing home resident falls result in catastrophic injury. If you trip and fall on the sidewalk, you will likely dust yourself off and continue on with your day. Unfortunately, when vulnerable seniors fall, it results in fractures and internal bleeding. The most common serious nursing home fall injury is a fractured pelvis or broken hip. These kind of injuries are life changing for a number of reasons. One, they require a difficult hip replacement surgery which may prove too much for the frail nursing home resident. Two, this surgery reduces the patient's ability to ambulate, or walk around. A bed bound nursing home resident has a much shorter life expectancy and a significantly diminished quality of life when compared to one who can get up and walk on their own. Third, the combination of bed rest, surgery and pain medications will worsen the patient's underlying dementia and confusion.
Another common Palm Beach nursing home fall injury is the brain bleed, or subdural hematoma. When a patient falls in a nursing home and hits their head, a CT scan should be performed immediately at the hospital. This CT film will determine if the patient's brain is bleeding, which is a potentially fatal fall injury. Some subdural hematoma bleeds will stop bleeding on their own. Other types of brain bleeds require brain surgery in order to stop the bleeding. As one may expect, head trauma and brain bleeding can cause significant brain damage and an increase in dementia, Alzheimer's and confusion.
Who is at Fault in a Palm Beach Nursing Home Fall?
Most residents that suffer falls in nursing homes have significant health issues. They are often demented and unable to follow direction. They do not listen to staff orders to remain in bed or in a wheelchair. As a result, when they fall, nursing homes will often blame the victim. So is the fall victim to blame for the nursing home fall? Usually, no. When a nursing home resident is admitted to any Florida nursing home, a fall risk assessment is performed. This means that each resident is graded on their risk to suffer falls. If the resident is determined to be a fall risk, fall preventative measure must be put in place. Failure to implement fall prevention techniques is an example of nursing home neglect.
Fall Prevention Methods: What Are They?
Not every fall is preventable, however, if a preventable fall occurs, the nursing home is liable for the injuries. Falls can be prevented through a variety of the following preventative measures:
- Bed Alarms
- Chair Alarms
- Bed Rails
- Wheelchair Lap Belt
- Increased Supervision
- Private Sitters
- Low Beds
- Floor Mats
Unsure what fall preventative measures were used in your case? Speak with one of our nursing home abuse attorneys so that they can determine which measures were implemented.
Palm Beach Nursing Home Fall: What Can I Do Now?
If your loved one was injured in a fall in a Palm Beach nursing home, contact our Palm Beach nursing home law firm to speak about your options. The consultation is free and we are happy to answer your fall injury questions.
We can be reached at 561-316-7207.