Nursing Home Falls -- Hip Fractures Can Be Deadly

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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"), each year an average nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 resident falls, and many falls go unreported.  Many nursing home residents fall more than once and the average resident experiences 2.6 falls per year.   The CDC reports further that: (1) approximately 35% of fall injuries involve nursing home residents who cannot walk; (2) approximately 10% to 20% of these falls result in serious injuries; (3) approximately 2% to 6% of these falls result in fractures; and (4) approximately 1,800 nursing home residents die each year as a result of falls.

Nursing home residents are often at risk for falling as a result of cognitive and physical disabilities and muscle weakness, as well as the side effects of medications.  Many falls also occur during transfers of immobile patients from or to beds, wheelchairs or Geri-chairs.  Nursing home residents also experience falls during physical therapy or occupational therapy treatments.

In our law practice, we have seen too many situations where a nursing home resident's fall results in significant disability, functional decline, reduced quality of life and even death.  Of particular concern, are hip (or femoral) fractures resulting from falls.  These injuries may require surgical intervention including the placement of plates and bone grafts.  There are significant risks for post-operative complications including infection, pneumonia, blood clots, blood loss, and hip dislocation.  Sadly, many of these nursing home fall victims ultimately die as a result of these life-threatening complications.  As reported by the Star Phoenix, according to a study published online on August 4, 2009 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, nearly 25% of all Canadians who break their hip die within five years of being diagnosed.  This percentage is likely even higher with nursing home residents.

It is therefore critical to prevent falls in nursing home residents through the use of proper preventative measures and precautions, and carefully monitoring of nursing home residents by the nursing home staff.  

Please feel free to contact the nursing home attorneys at Dever & Feldstein, LLC at (888) 825-9119 for a free consultation if you believe that a family member or loved one has sustained serious injury as a result of a nursing home fall, bedsores (also known as pressure sores or decubitus ulcers), medication error, elder abuse or elder neglect.  

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This page contains a single entry by David Feldstein published on August 4, 2009 2:04 PM.

Fatal Consequences of Nursing Home Medication Errors -- Diabetes Medication Mistakes was the previous entry in this blog.

Preventing the Fatal Consequences of Nursing Home Elopement and Wandering Episodes is the next entry in this blog.

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