Despite the glimpse of warmer temperatures that are (hopefully) around the corner, many nursing homes and long-term care facilities have their heating systems working at full force. Unfortunately, many of these facilities were constructed at a time when radiant heating systems were state of the art.
The danger radiators and portable heating units pose to disabled nursing home patients may seem like somewhat of an alarmist attitude, but the reality is that anything can pose a danger to people who may be unable to appreciate danger to themselves or others.
A radiator in a Minnesota nursing home patient’s room turned deadly when the man ‘wedged’ his foot between his bed and the radiator. The man suffered second and third degree burns to his legs. Four weeks later, the man died from complications related to the burns.
An investigation in the incident, which occurred at Redeemer Health and Rehab, determined the facility was negligent in its care of this dementia patient because the facility knew that this man was prone to do this. In fact, the nursing home had noted that the man had a similar episode of wedging his feet between the radiator shortly before this incident occurred.
As a lawyer who has represented burn victims, I can personally attest to the horrific pain these victims experience while undergoing burn treatments. Many burn patients require skin grafts and other painful surgeries to heal the wound and reduce the risk of infection. In this respect, it always aggravates me when I hear of a person who needlessly suffered a burn injury because the toll the injury takes on the individual.
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