legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Broken Hip in Nursing Homes
Is your family member the victim of nursing home abuse and suffered a broken hip caused by staff negligence? Our affiliated lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, are legal advocates for all elderly patients harmed by others.
Call our nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 to discuss your loved one's injury and how to hold the facility and staff accountable for their unacceptable actions. We hold nursing homes accountable.
Hip fractures are more common in the US than you would imagine, especially in the elderly living in nursing homes. It is the second most common cause of hospitalization in nursing home patients over 65 years of age.
To make matters worse, 20% of the residents die in just 12 months of getting fractured hips.
The unfortunate thing is that these injuries are avoidable but keep happening due to sheer negligence. If you or your loved one has suffered from a broken hip in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or elderly care facility, hire a lawyer today to seek compensation.Types of Hip Fractures
Typically, hip fractures can be of two types, and both are quite serious. The repair process of both types of hip fractures includes surgery.Femoral Fracture
The femoral neck in the hip is below the ball-and-socket joint in the hip. A fracture in this region can obstruct, slow, or completely stop blood flow to the part of the bone that has been broken.
The elderly require surgery to repair this fracture and resume blood flow to the affected region. Sometimes, a partial hip replacement may also be needed to heal the area completely.Intertrochanteric Fracture
The thigh bones come out of the femoral neck of the hip. A fracture in this region is placed between trochanters or the two bumps in the hip. To repair this type of fracture, the patient needs to undergo a hip nail placement.
Or the healthcare professional may use a metal plate to put the bones in the right position.Risk Factors for a Nursing Home Hip Fracture
Nursing home abuse could be a leading cause of the alarmingly high number of hip fractures in the elderly. Apart from that, some other factors contribute to this problem:
- Poor nutrition and health
- Alcohol consumption
- Medication taken
- Dementia or osteoporosis
- Previous fractures and falls
- Trip hazards in the nursing home
- Nursing home abuse
Moreover, nursing home patients may get a hip fracture if they have low body weight or undergo menopause. Similarly, residents with weak eyesight or vitamin D deficiency are more prone to falling or tripping and ending up with a hip fracture.Nursing Home Hip Fracture
Many nursing home patients undergo hip fracture surgery to repair or replace problematic hip implants required after they suffered a broken hip.
Some elderly individuals in long-term care facilities develop blood clots and pressure sores (bedsores, pressure wounds, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers) while recovering from revision surgery.
Older adults with bone fractures receiving care in a long-term care facility are more likely to develop pneumonia because their injuries limit movement, compromising their immune systems.
Traditional treatment options for a broken hip in nursing homes include surgery to repair or replace the damaged joint. To ensure your safety and that of your loved ones, seek out care at an assisted living facility with a strong record of the care and avoid facilities with a pattern of nursing home abuse or neglect. Some helpful tips are:
Avoid facilities with poor inspection reports and serious violations, such as:
- Inadequate staffing levels
- Lack of supervision when moving from bed to chair,
- Fall hazards in common areas
- Improperly maintained equipment
- Inadequate administration of medications
- Any problems that can endanger residents' safety
Hip fractures are not the only kind of bone injuries elderly suffer from in nursing homes. Here are some other broken bone injuries that the elderly might experience.
- Stress Fractures: Stress fractures normally occur in the ankles and are characterized by cracking in the bone. If they are left untreated, they can get bigger and cause a lot of pain and swelling. In addition, if a resident's ankle is not functional, they are at a higher risk of tripping or falling and getting a hip fracture.
- Traumatic Fractures: These fractures are a result of falls. For instance, if an elderly resident falls in the bathroom while showering or trip on the staircase. These fractures also occur if the staff mishandles the resident when transferring them from bed to the wheelchairs and vice versa.
- Compression Fractures: These are also called spontaneous fractures and can occur without a reason or explanation. In most cases, the staff at the nursing home cannot possibly prevent such kinds of fractures. However, they are responsible for monitoring patients who have had compression fractures in the past and are susceptible to them. If these fractures are left untreated, they can cause extreme pain requiring surgical intervention.
Nursing homes and elderly care facilities should incorporate certain preventative measures to ensure the health of their residents. Some of these measures include:
- Having toileting schedules to make sure the residents are comfortable and don't have to go to the toilet themselves
- Frequent supervision of the residents to avoid unsupervised ambulation
- Cleaning the floors to prevent slipping
- Minimizing or removing trip hazards from the facility
- Bed rails to prevent the elderly from falling off their beds
- Keeping the call bells in reach so that the residents do not have to move too much
- Bed alarms that set off if the resident is trying to get out of bed
- Floor mats and hipsters for cushioning falls out of a wheelchair or bed
Broken hips in nursing homes are quite common, almost too common. A JAMA Internal Medicine study found the following about the quality of life of the elderly after suffering from a hip fracture:
- The study found that 36% of the nursing home residents who sustain a hip fracture die within 180 days of the injury.
- People above 90 years of age are at the highest risk of dying after a hip injury. Likewise, the elderly whose fracture is not treated with an operation, or those with cognitive impairment are more likely to die.
- Over 50% of nursing home patients who were relatively mobile before breaking a hip were left sedentary or dependent in just 180 days of hip fracture.
Hip fractures in nursing home residents are prevalent. However, when hip fracture surgery is needed, it can be difficult for families to make medical decisions on behalf of the resident and determine whether they should undergo surgery.
Ultimately, the decision will be made by assessing significant factors in how broken hips heal. Data shows that one in three nursing home residents will die with a broken hip in the first six months.
Additionally, one in two male residents will die within the same period. Without hip surgery, many residents die within weeks of acquiring a fractured hip from other complications like bedsores, infection, sepsis, and dehydration.
Should you suspect that your family member isn't making good choices about their healthcare, speak up and have your concerns added to your loved one's medical records!
Here are some common causes of hip fractures in nursing home patients.
- Falling from the wheelchair and beds
- Slipping in the shower
- Falling on wet floors or in the shower
- Broken Hoyer lifts
- Defective Hoyer lifts
- Dropping when transferred to the toilet
- Muscle weakness from broken bone rubbing
According to the Centers for Disease Control, most residents are at a greater risk of falling from their beds in attempts to get out of bed when the nursing staff does not respond to their call button.Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home neglect is one of the biggest causes of broken hips and other hip fractures in elderly long-stay residents. Nursing facilities must provide care to every elderly patient that ensures they are safe from harm and protected from broken bones or fractured hips caused by negligent nursing home staff.
Ensuring the facilities are clean, free of trip hazards, with proper residents from bed to wheelchairs and vice versa.
Has your loved one suffered a broken hip? Do you suspect their serious injuries are the result of nursing home negligence? Are your family members considering safety measures like relocating your loved one to the hospital or another long-term care facility?
Failure to provide these services or any other form of nursing home negligence can result in serious injury and even wrongful death for many victims.
If you suspect that your loved one's injuries are due to nursing home neglect, contact our elder abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center. Our experienced attorneys can provide numerous legal options during a free consultation.
Let our law firm fight to protect your loved one's rights. Call (800) 926-7565 now for legal help.Consequences of a Hip Fracture for Nursing Home Residents
Nursing homes are inherently responsible for taking care of the residents. That includes ensuring that the residents do not get injured during their stay at the facility.
If it's proven that a fall or fracture was preventable or occurred due to negligence on the staff's part, the nursing home can be sued.
If you or your loved one has suffered from a hip fracture at a nursing home, you can file a lawsuit to get compensated. The treatment for a fractured hip often includes long-term rehabilitation and surgery.
Therefore, the plaintiff needs to be compensated for medical bills. Nursing home patients die after a fracture in many cases since their health tends to deteriorate following the fracture. In that case, the family can also file a wrongful death lawsuit.Two Examples of a Hip Fracture Lawsuit Involving Nursing Home Abuse
In Michigan, a 79-year-old nursing home resident fell in his room and was found by a staff member at the long-term care facility the next day. He complained to the nurse about hip pain but was ignored.
He complained about pain again the next morning. An attending physician conducted an X-ray, which showed that there was a hip fracture. He underwent hip fracture surgery the next day. The family filed a lawsuit against the elderly care facility since the resident had fallen for the fifth time in under six months.
The settlement amount for the lawsuit was $275,000.00 to compensate for his nursing home hip fracture.
In another broken hip negligent case, an elderly suffered a severe broken hip requiring hip surgery. In addition, the patient was admitted to the nursing home with a diagnosis of dementia.
The client's family visited several times a week and claimed that they saw their loved one sitting in his room without eating or drinking, wearing wet diapers for hours at a time. The nursing home staff did not answer pleas from the resident's daughter to get her father's help.
One day, a family member arrived at the nursing home and found that their loved one was no longer there. It turned out he had fallen out of bed and lay on the floor for hours before he died from an infection contributed to by his broken hip. The family sued and settled with the long-term care facility for $75,000.00.Broken Hip Lawsuits Settlement
If the hip fracture was due to nursing home abuse and negligence, the sufferer's family could file a lawsuit against the facility to compensate for their loss. However, since each case is different, it is impossible to quote a standard compensation amount for a broken hip settlement.
However, the settlement is well in the six-figure range, and you can expect to get something over $100,000.
The settlement amount factors include the injury severity to the nursing home resident, the victim's age, and the medical bills they had to pay for treatment. The settlement amounts also differ by state.
For instance, if you're in Florida, you can expect to get around 1,000,000 in compensation, while residents in California get compensated around $573,026 on average.
Meanwhile, Michigan elderly residents have been compensated up to $550,000 in previous lawsuits.Hip Fracture Negligence in Nursing Homes FAQs
Our nursing home abuse lawyers understand that many families have unanswered questions about handling negligence in a nursing home. A personal injury attorney has answered some of those questions below.
Call our legal team (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) for additional information.
If a resident does not have surgery following a hip fracture, they can have worsened quality of life and more dire outcomes. For example, their mobility could be compromised, and they may experience extreme pain.
Many residents suffer pain when moving as broken hip pieces rubbing with each other cause friction.
Nursing homes are required to take care of residents.
That includes preventing any physical damage to their bodies. If it's proven that the hip fracture was caused due to the negligence of the nursing home staff, you can file a legal claim against the facility.
If your loved one has suffered from a hip fracture, the nursing home will most probably try to shift the blame to the natural aging process or your family member's weak bones and other health conditions.
However, studies show that 65% of the hip fractures in nursing homes are due to dropping and falls rather than aging.
So, if you suspect negligence on the part of the nursing home, make sure to hire a competent lawyer for the case.
Was your loved one the victim of nursing home abuse and suffered a broken hip that could have been prevented had the nursing staff followed the established protocols? At the Nursing Home Law Center, our personal injury attorneys represent injured victims to ensure they receive maximum compensation for their damages.
Contact our affiliated attorneys today at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation. Let us begin working on your case today.
We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This promise ensures you pay nothing upfront until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict.Resources: