Nursing Home Falls
Every year in nursing homes across America, patients fall. In a 100-bed hospital, an average of 10-20 patients will fall per year. Most common causes of falls are weakness, dizziness, visual impairment, cognitive and functional impairment and psychoactive medications.
Because falls can result in serious fractures which may permanently disable a patient, it is incumbent on the nursing home to prevent falls to the best of their ability. Mortality Falls - falls which result in the patient's death - are a leading cause of unintentional injury and death in people aged 65 years and over. Studies show that 20-30% of all elderly persons who fall and sustain a hip fracture, die within 12-18 months. Most elderly persons who sustain hip fractures never regain their pre-fracture activity status.
A significant number of nursing home falls -- between 15% and -30% -- are caused by "environmental hazards" which can be prevented. Environmental hazards include
- Wet floors
- Lack of bed rails
- Poor lighting
- Wheelchairs that are not fitted or maintained properly
- Improper transfer of a patient from bed to chair
- Improper training of staff in lifting and handling techniques
- Failure to have call buttons in working condition
Another cause of nursing home falls is inadequate staffing. Many falls occur at night when nursing home cut back on skilled nursing staff to save money.
If you or a loved one had a nursing home fall which resulted in a serious injury such as a hip or skull fracture, you/they may be entitled to compensation for the damages suffered. The Farber Law Group has more than 30 years experience in helping injury victims and their families. Contact The Farber Law Group today and let us put our experience to work for you.