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Amputations From Neglect in a Nursing Home

nursing-home-amputation-lawsuitInjuries and deaths from neglect are common in caregiving facilities, but there are many cases where the patient was injured due to an accident, negligence, or medical malpractice.

A nursing home amputation lawyer specializing in cases involving injury or death to patients in nursing homes can provide immediate legal intervention to stop the abuse and neglect now.

Has your loved one been injured at a nursing home? If so, contact the personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 to schedule a free consultation with a local nursing home amputation lawyer.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue that can have serious consequences for the victims. Injuries from medical errors, falls, and infections are common among these nursing home patients who typically reside in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities with high levels of care.

However, there is one type of injury that often goes unnoticed by staff: amputations from neglect. 

A nursing home amputation can happen in a second. As one of the most common types of hospital-acquired injury, it has been estimated that more than 4,000 nursing home residents are injured by falls each year.

These injuries can range from sprains and fractures to head trauma or back pain. Sometimes the injuries are less severe, but when they happen on top of existing health issues like uncontrolled diabetes or poor circulation, these falls can be life-threatening for seniors already struggling with mobility issues.

Amputations From Neglect of Elderly Patients in a Nursing Home

One of the most devastating injuries that can happen to a victim is an amputation. The loss of a limb leaves them feeling helpless and in constant pain, but it doesn't have to be this way. Doctors and nurses are learning how to treat these injuries with technology and prosthetics so victims can still lead full lives after their amputation.

The main goals of treatment at a nursing home are improving quality of life, restoring function, preventing complications, educating about the use of prosthesis/adaptive equipment, and providing support for caregivers as needed.

These goals help ensure that injured victims don't feel like the injury defines them and continue living their lives.

The first thing the staff at a nursing home typically does is provide a thorough assessment to determine what type of injury occurred when it happened, whether it was amputation from neglect or some other reason, and how much information the victim has about what happened.

Nursing Home Abuse Among the Most Common Reasons for Amputation In Long Term Care

Falls are the most common reason for amputation, occurring more than twice as often in a nursing home or assisted living facility compared to the elderly who live at home. An unexpected fall could result in serious injury and even death if safety equipment and transfers are not properly addressed.

Treatment usually begins with a thorough assessment to better understand why the hip, foot, or knee amputation occurred. The staff wants to know:

  • What type of injury was it?
  • When did it happen?
  • How much information does the patient have about what happened?

Next, medical history is reviewed, and nursing assistants help the elderly patient with any needed daily care activities, including getting into bed, bathing, and eating.

At the same time, physical therapy is introduced to help elderly amputees prevent and treat other injuries or loss of function resulting from the amputation. In addition, physical therapy helps get nursing home residents used to their prostheses as soon as possible to live more active lives.

The last step in rehabilitation begins with an evaluation by a prosthetist. They help make sure the prosthesis fits properly, and those nursing home patients know how to use it before being discharged from the facility.

Patients are usually taught basic transfers, such as how to get out of bed or take a shower with the prosthetic attached.

Once they are ready, elderly patients work with a home health agency to develop an individualized care plan. This plan often includes using a home health aide, physical therapy, and maybe occupational therapy, depending on the severity of their injuries.

Home health aides can help with daily tasks that the elderly resident might not do themselves. They are trained professionals familiar with what type of equipment each patient will need and use it properly.

Physical therapy is important because it helps with activities that can lead to injury or loss of function.

For example, if a patient's amputation occurred because their foot was caught in the hem of their bedsheets and they pulled their leg out quickly, physical therapists could help them learn how to walk without tripping on the bed sheet, so this doesn't happen again.

Occupational therapists work with nursing home patients to make sure they can still live independently at home and do things for themselves without causing injury or loss of function that might slow them down.

In some instances, occupational therapists might recommend a wheelchair to prevent falls without limiting the patient's independence. Wheelchairs are also helpful when nursing home patients need to get out of bed or take a shower because they reduce the weight load on their legs, making it less likely for them to fall.

Best Nursing Homes

Working with a geriatric care manager is one way that you can ensure your loved one gets the attention they deserve in a nursing home facility. In addition, a geriatric care manager works with elderly nursing home residents and their families to ensure they receive the best care possible.

Having a case manager can be especially helpful if you aren't sure what to look for in a nursing home facility. They have experience with these facilities and understand what questions need to be asked when choosing one for your loved one.

Some things you can ask a geriatric care manager to help you with include:

  • Answering questions about dementia and Alzheimer's disease
  • Assessing your loved one's abilities and needs
  • Researching the best low vision technology to assist in their daily life activities
  • Finding out what type of equipment they will need at home in case they are discharged
  • Helping with everyday tasks at home or in a facility, such as getting to appointments, grocery shopping, and cooking meals
  • Finding activities and social events for patients who can still live independently and enjoy being around others

Many people have heard of memory care units but aren't familiar with all the services they offer. Memory care is a special type of nursing home facility that provides extra support for people living with memory loss or Alzheimer's disease, allowing them to enjoy their time there and live more independently than in a traditional nursing home.

Are Nursing Homes Responsible For Falls?

Caregiving facilities are responsible for providing a safe environment for their nursing home residents. Injuries from falls can be minimized by taking precautions such as installing handrails and slip-resistant flooring, which should be inspected regularly to ensure they are working properly.

If a staff member is aware of any hazards that could lead to falls, they are required by law to report those hazards. However, identifying and reporting nursing home neglect cases can be very complex, and the victim or their family must understand what happened to build a case.

Amputations and Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect is a serious problem in the United States. Every day, thousands of nursing home patients are placed into facilities that don't care for them properly. As a result, the elderly are often at the mercy of their caregivers and can be subject to nursing home abuse.

Nursing home residents may wake up every morning wondering how much worse treatment will get today in some facilities. However, there are ways we can help stop this cycle from happening before it starts.

Several injuries can happen to elderly patients in a nursing home. Still, two of the most common causes are abuse and neglect, involving patients at high risk for amputations and bedsores.

Common amputations among older people in nursing homes caused by neglect include:

  • Substandard (improper) care
  • Untreated infected bedsores and decubitus ulcers
  • Broken joint infection
  • Severe infections
  • Nerve tissue damage
  • Arthritis
  • Limited mobility
  • A wound infection that won't heal
  • Stroke 
  • Poor circulation to the extremities
  • Infections from MRSA or other infectious diseases
  • Severe bed sores/pressure ulcers
  • Falls resulting in broken bones
  • Substandard diabetic care
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Failure to prevent falls or provide mobility devices for nursing home residents who have a history of falling
  • Other severe medical conditions

Many nursing homes are being held responsible for the most common cause of neglect that leads to amputations.

Victims and their families must use an experienced nursing home injury attorney who'll review the details of their case to determine if a negligent party should be held accountable for the resulting damage.

Amputation From Neglect in a Nursing Home: What You Can Do

Nursing home abuse is a most serious issue, and victims of mild to horrific abuse must seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney.

The attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC have years of experience successfully representing individuals who have been victimized by substandard care, negligent parties, and the general nursing home negligence associated with long-term neglect and abuse.

When a Patient Loses a Limb From Neglect, Who Pays?

The physical, emotional, and financial toll on someone who underwent a surgical amputation due to neglect can be life-changing. Unfortunately, many people don't realize they have a legal right to compensation for all damages and injuries accompanying an amputation.

Nursing home neglect cases can be challenging to prove, but victims need to understand their rights and options so they can act against negligent parties. It doesn't matter if your loved one lost a limb or their life due to neglect. Therefore, you must seek legal representation if you have a case.

You need someone on your side to ensure negligent parties are held accountable for the damages they caused.

Examples of Nursing Home Negligence: Amputations From Untreated Bed Sores

In one case, a nursing home resident lost a limb (transfemoral amputation) when they were not provided with the necessary care to treat their bedsores. The 87-year-old woman received substandard care for over a year when she was finally diagnosed with stage 4 infected bedsores and other medical conditions.

When the patient died one month later, her family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the nursing home, claiming that they had received negligent treatment. As a result of this case, the nursing home negligence became clear to both parties.

The following are just some of the facts revealed during the discovery of this case:

  • A physician did not review the patient's medical records after being admitted to the nursing home
  • The nursing home staff members did not inspect her bedsores and failed to provide any treatment or intervention over time
  • No one at the facility monitored the elderly patient in between daily required checks for pressure ulcers
  • The nursing home staff members did not follow protocols for treating pressure ulcers, even after the patient's condition worsened
  • There was no evidence of any treatment or intervention by staff that would have been appropriate to help heal their bedsores
  • When the patient was finally hospitalized, her entire body had become full of infection (sepsis), and she was diagnosed with septic shock
  • One month later, the patient died from further complications of her medical condition

The decedent's family filed a lawsuit against the nursing home and claimed that their loved one died because of medical malpractice.

The family sought damages for wrongful death and hired expert testimony to establish how substandard care had caused their mother's death.

After reviewing the case, it was determined that the facility was negligent since nursing home staff members had known about the pressure ulcers for an extended period and had failed to provide proper treatment.

The family decided to settle with the defendant out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Nursing Home Neglect Results in The Loss of A Limb And Subsequent Death

In another case reported by CBS News, a woman's leg was amputated due to untreated bedsores. When the decedent's family filed a lawsuit, it was eventually settled for $1 million. The case against the nursing home revealed that staff members failed to treat pressure ulcers properly and were negligent in their patient care.

The facts surrounding this case are as follows:

  • The woman had entered the facility to recover from surgery and was supposed to monitor nursing home staff daily for pressure sores.
  • Pressure ulcers occur when skin is compressed between two bony surfaces, preventing poor blood flow and causing necrotic tissue (dead tissue) that can eventually spread throughout the body's tissue.
  • Even though she had been in the facility for weeks, no one had checked the woman's skin for signs of pressure ulcers, nor had they treated any that were already present.
  • The nursing home staff later determined that she had at least 16 sores on her body, and it is believed that she likely entered the nursing home with more than this number, claiming her injuries were not from bedsores that were not properly maintained.
  • When doctors finally decided to treat these wounds, they found that they had spread to her bone.
  • A knee amputation procedure removed the leg below the knee, and she died shortly after this painful surgery.

The family sued for medical malpractice, facility-acquired decubitus ulcers (pressure sores, open wounds), and poor care, and an undisclosed settlement was reached out of court. When settling the case, the defendants made no admissions of liability on behalf of the nursing home staff.

The above outlines two examples of how neglect can lead to an amputation, but victims and their families must understand that they have legal rights and options when a loved one has been injured.

If your parent, spouse, or another beloved family member has been harmed due to nursing home abuse or neglect, consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand the charges against those responsible for their injury.

What Can I Do if My Loved One is the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

Was your loved one harmed by medical malpractice while living in a nursing home? If so, you may be eligible for compensation.

Nursing Home Law Center specializes in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Our attorneys have recovered millions on behalf of our clients and will work diligently to help you get the justice you deserve.

Our legal team has handled various medical malpractice cases and will gather evidence to build the strongest case possible for your loved one.

There are strict time limits for filing claims, so you must act as swiftly as possible. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case. Then, we'll fight to get you the compensation your family deserves. Nursing Home Law Center - (800) 926-7565

Abuse and Neglect Attorneys For Nursing Home Residents

Do you need a legal advocate to fight on behalf of your loved one living in a long-term care facility? Did they develop complications that could have been prevented had the staff followed established protocols? The Nursing Home Law Center is here to help.

For decades, our legal team has been dedicated to protecting the elderly and their loved ones from nursing home abuse and neglect while living in a nursing home.

If your parent or another family member has suffered because of poorly administered care, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim. Do you suspect that your loved one's amputation might have been avoided if the nursing staff didn't allow further complications?

Nursing Home Law Center is dedicated to the defense of our clients and will work hard to secure a financial settlement that helps you move forward with your life after such a traumatic experience. To schedule a FREE legal consultation, call the Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 today 24/7.

Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Amputation

Without legal intervention, a minor problem like initial bedsores just beginning to form could result in a life-threatening condition.

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse or neglect is often hard to identify, especially if the resident cannot or will not speak up to protect themselves due to mental impairment or fear of retaliation from the staff or other nursing home patients.

If you are the loved one of someone who has suffered injury or loss of life from neglect in a nursing home, you must contact an experienced attorney immediately.

For years, our legal team at the Nursing Home Law Center has been dedicated to fighting for nursing home residents. Our expertise in this area can help you secure a settlement that covers your loved one's medical expenses, loss of income, and other damages they have suffered.

Call our law firm at (800) 926-7565 for a FREE legal consultation about nursing home abuse or neglect that has led to an amputation.

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Client Reviews

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric