Broken Neck Nursing Home Injury

Broken Neck in Nursing Homes

fractured-neck-nursing-home-lawsuitIs your family member the victim of nursing home abuse and suffered a fractured neck caused by staff negligence or a lack of supervision? The personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center are legal advocates for all elderly patients harmed by others.

Fill in our contact form online or call our law firm using toll-free (800) 926-7565 to discuss your loved one's injury and how to hold the senior care home and staff accountable for their unacceptable actions. Contact us to create an attorney-client relationship for immediate legal advice.

Minor injuries for young individuals might not be very concerning, but even a slight fall can hurt an elderly in a way that proves to be lethal. In addition, nursing home residents with dementia or other conditions are at a higher risk of falling and breaking their necks. 

Broken Necks in Nursing Homes Explained

After a fall, an elderly patient may suffer from spinal column damage, which is painful and uncomfortable. The condition's severity depends on how bad the fall was and whether the elderly patient already suffered from a life-altering condition. 

Depending on the patient's age, the death rate following a broken neck in the first year can be as high as 57% and as low as 10%. Thus, older adults falling and breaking their necks should be a concern for their health and well-being. 

Unfortunately, most falls are preventable, keeping the elderly safe from any severe injury in nursing homes. However, getting a broken neck in nursing centers has become commonplace due to mistreatment and neglect, the leading cause in some facilities. 

If you or a loved one has experienced a fractured neck in nursing homes, you can hold the senior care home liable for their abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. 

Make sure you create an attorney-client relationship with a dependable and competent lawyer for your case since most nursing homes will try to pin the blame on the patient's old age and poor health. 

Types of Broken Neck Injuries

The most common fracture locations in the elderly in nursing homes are the upper cervical area and the neck. Here are the three types of injuries linked to a broken neck in nursing facilities: 

  • Odontoid Fractures: Occur when a person falls, hitting their head against the floor or something else. 
  • Central Cord Syndrome: When the neck is hyperextended, it leads to this spinal cord disorder. 
  • Cervical Extension: This fracture occurs when an elderly patient is less mobile due to their existing condition. Therefore, they are at a higher risk of falling since their range of motion is limited. 

Advanced osteoporosis can also contribute to cervical fractures because of the loss of bone density. In addition, many nursing home residents experience a broken neck due to frequent falls when they are unable to break their fall; thus, resulting in a fracture. 

Remember that even a minor fall from a bed or wheelchair can result in injuries and accidents if no caregiver is nearby to help them out. Thus, make sure that elderly patients wear a protective helmet and move around by themselves when they get up. 

If you have a loved one in nursing home facilities, monitoring their activities and movements is crucial. Also, look for signs of abuse from staff or other residents at the facility. Finally, consider if the nursing home is understaffed and doesn't have the appropriate number of certified caregivers with proper training to ensure every residents' needs are met. 

Making a toll-free 800 926-7565 call to our law office is the first step in getting legal help for your close relative who has suffered a broken neck in a nursing home.

Effects of Broken Neck Injuries in Nursing Home Patients

A broken neck in a young person may not be as concerning as that in an elderly patient living in a nursing home. However, when a patient experiences a broken neck, many potential health problems can stem from the fracture. Some of them may even be chronic, affecting the resident for the rest of their lives. 

Along with impacting a resident's physical health, a broken neck is also detrimental to a person's mental and emotional well-being. 

Short-Term Effects

Short-term effects last for a certain period and then go away with treatment and rehabilitation. They could include cardiovascular complications or respiratory problems. 

After the diagnosis for a broken neck is made in the emergency room, doctors check to ensure adequate oxygenation, ventilation, and airway passage to the lungs and the heart. Doing so in the earlier stages of treatment can prevent the problems from aggravating. 

One of the major short-term complications after a neck injury is hypotension, which refers to low blood pressure. In addition, the cervical fracture or broken neck sends the body into neurological shock. 

Here are some other problems nursing home residents may experience after a neck fracture: 

  • Muscle atrophy 
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Bowel functions issues 

If your close relatives have suffered broken necks in a nursing home, kindly use the voicemail or contact form on our website to leave us a message. Our attorney will get back and guide you on your legal options. Alternatively, making a phone call is another ideal way of reaching us.

Long-Term Effects 

Since cervical spine fractures and neck injuries are quite severe, they have long-term effects in elderly patients. A nursing home resident with a broken neck could have the following long-term effects: 

  • Autonomic dysreflexia (a condition in which the blood pressure gets dangerously high)
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Bladder dysfunction 
  • Gastrointestinal problems 

Elderly residents who experience neck injuries must be monitored for proper bowel and bladder function. More importantly, their blood pressure must be monitored regularly since having excessively high blood pressure means that the body is constantly in a state of distress. 

Treatment for Broken Neck

Often, the patient may be at high risk following the fracture. In addition, their recovery can even be life-threatening due to other underlying health conditions that could worsen their condition.

To help the elderly heal faster and prevent further complications, they might need treatments such as:

  • Surgery for Fractures: Fixing the fracture with surgery will relieve pain and promote a faster recovery. However, this procedure may not be recommended if the patient has other life-threatening issues. 
  • Immobilization: Since older adults who have suffered from a broken neck are at high risk of falling again, their doctors might recommend immobilizing them in a cast. Although this can also increase the risk of pneumonia and blood clots, patients must keep the neck as still as possible. 
  • Acupuncture: It's important to understand that acupuncture isn't just used for pain management but can also heal broken bones. This Chinese medical practice uses needles below the skin to promote the circulation of blood and relieve pain.
  • Physical Therapy: It's essential to start physical therapy as soon as possible to get relief from pain and prevent further complications. 
  • Assistive Devices: Sometimes, patients may not recover from their injury due to some underlying health conditions. If this is the case for your loved one, you must talk to a medical professional about using assistive devices that can allow them to live an independent life. 
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation: Sometimes, patients might suffer from chronic pain and severe discomfort due to their injury. With this medical procedure, doctors can apply mild pulses of electricity on the spinal cord nerves to help reduce pain.

Broken bones are painful and frustrating, but an older person suffering from a fracture has more to worry about than just the immediate danger. In addition to dealing with their intense pain, they must also cope with the possibility of developing medical conditions, such as pneumonia and blood clots due to immobilization. 

Adequate Care is Crucial for Survival

Unfortunately, elderly individuals experiencing a cervical fracture needing to remain inactive could quickly develop a pressure sore. Without adequate care from staff members, these bedsores can lead to infections which, in turn, can be life-threatening.

Although your loved one's recovery may seem impossible due to their existing condition, you must never give up and let yourself succumb to hopelessness.

Medical Malpractice

Any medical professional who makes a mistake while providing or withholding care could be guilty of medical malpractice. Your family deserves full compensation for the physical and emotional damage that has been inflicted on your loved one.

Since you're not in control of your loved one's condition, it may be difficult to recognize if they struggle with medical problems due to their immobilization.

How a broken neck is treated depends on how severe the injury is. Here are some ways to treat a broken neck: 

  • If the break did not impact the spinal cord, the patient would be required to wear a neck brace. Plus, they will be instructed to rest and take some medications to manage the pain. 
  • However, if the injury is severe, the patient may undergo surgery to bring the bones back to their original position. In this case, the patient will be required to wear a stronger neck brace. 
  • Some neck breaks can affect the spinal cord, damaging it. In such cases, the options for the patients are limited since the spinal cord cannot heal itself. Also, there are little to no treatment options to fix a spinal cord. 
Recovery Period

Again, the recovery period depends on how severe the injury was. For example, nursing home patients with a simple neck break will heal in six to eight weeks. Meanwhile, nursing home patients with more severe breaks will require surgery and take up to three months to recover. 

As for spinal cord injuries that occur because of the neck-breaking may not heal completely because the bone could heal, but the nerves will sustain permanent damage. In some cases, the patient may get paralyzed due to damage to the nerves in the spinal cord. 

For further legal help, kindly message contact as the details on this website is attorney advertising, and concrete legal help will be availed upon your case assessment. Alternatively, you can use text messages or voicemail to reach us.

Risk Factors for Broken Neck in Nursing Homes

Sometimes, elder abuse and nursing home neglect might be at play for broken necks in elderly patients. However, a nursing home resident may be more prone to fracturing their neck if they have the following risk factors: 

  • Weakness in the lower body
  • Vision problems
  • Medication usage that could affect balance and posture 
  • Difficulties balancing and walking properly
  • Vitamin deficiency 

More importantly, if the nursing facility has trip hazards or isn't elderly-friendly, it could increase broken neck injuries. 

Nursing Home Negligence 

Sadly, nursing home abuse is all too common. But that's not the only reason for residents to get neck injuries. Sometimes, nursing facilities are not built to be elderly-friendly, or the staff may not be trained properly, leading to injuries, such as a broken neck. 

A nursing home injury may happen due to the following negligent acts: 

  • No or improper risk assessment for the fall 
  • Not having bed rails to prevent the elderly from falling out of bed
  • Lack of supervision 
  • Not having enough nurses on board to help patients
  • Improper nutrition for elderly residents
  • Over-medicating the elderly residents
  • Negligence in hiring staff 
  • Not cleaning up liquid and food spills 
  • Poor maintenance
  • Not removing or minimizing trip hazards 
  • Nurses or aides not responsive to the residents' calls for assistance 

Nursing home abuse could often be disguised as negligent behavior. For instance, if there's a non-verbal resident, they must be monitored more carefully than others. 

However, due to the stock's incompetence or lack of attention, the patient's symptoms of a broken neck may go unnoticed until the problem becomes too big to be treated. 

If your loved ones have been victims of elder abuse at a nursing home facility, fill in the contact form text message on our website for a free consultation. Our law firm will then assist you in filing a civil suit against the nursing home. 

Can a Facility Be Held Liable for Nursing Home Abuse? 

The nursing home staff is required to take care of the residents, ensuring their optimal health. But, if the nursing home fails to do that, leading to chronic conditions or preventable death of a resident, they can be held liable. 

Families of the affected individuals can file a civil suit against the nursing centers and compensation for medical expenses, pain, and suffering. 

Nursing Home Neglect Resulting in Broken Neck and Bedsores Leads to Settlement

Broken neck injuries are often a result of nursing home neglect. If that's the case, you can file a lawsuit against the facility, getting compensated for the damages. 

However, if the elderly resident dies due to the injury, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit and get the following damages: 

  • Loss of services and financial support the patient may have provided 
  • Burial costs
  • Funeral costs
  • Medical bills 
Settlement Amounts for Nursing Home Residents in Broken Neck Injuries 

When filing a lawsuit against a facility for nursing home abuse or neglect that led to the broken neck injury, the plaintiff must remember that the settlement amount will depend on the severity of the injury and the patient's age. 

For instance, if the elderly resident becomes a victim of bedsores following the fall that led to their neck fracture, the settlement can be $500,000 or even more. In addition, the plaintiffs are compensated for long-term harm, suffering, pain, and medical bills. 

What To Do If Someone Falls and Breaks Their Neck?

If the incident occurs in a nursing home for an elderly resident, you should immediately get medical help. The sooner help arrives, the better it is for the patient. 

After that, you should file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the nursing home facility if the broken neck injury resulted from elder abuse or neglect from the nursing home staff. 

While doing so, make sure you have a trustworthy attorney from our reputable law firm by your side who can guarantee you maximum compensation from the nursing home. In addition, engaging our attorneys guarantees you the full attorney-client relationship copyright.

Hire a Nursing Home Neglect Attorney to Resolve your Injury Compensation Case

Is your loved one the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect who sustained an injury while under the care of the nursing staff? Do you need advice on how to hold the assisted living facility financially accountable?

Our personal injury attorneys represent victims of nursing home falls and other injuries, including preventable pressure sores. Submitting a contact form today will enable our attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation. Alternatively, contact us via toll-free (800) 926-7565.

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Resources: Broken Neck Nursing Home Injury

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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
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