Lawyer Resources for Fractures

Elderly and FallsOne of the largest concerns for the elderly is preventing falls. They are the largest cause of injury death for people 65 years and older, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  In 2008, 19,700 older adults died from fall injuries and in 2009, 2.2 million fall injuries were treated at emergency rooms across the country.

Causes Of Falls

Falls occur more often with the elderly for various reasons, most of them linked to

How Do You Prevent Nursing Home AbuseWhen a family makes the difficult decision to place their loved one in the care of a nursing home, they hope the provided caregivers will be as loving and responsible as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many elders are abused in nursing homes due to their age and physical frailty. Often, this abuse is in the form of neglect. In order to make sure your family doesn’t fall prey to nursing home abuse, look for the 5 warning signs below.

Look For Bruises, Pressure Marks, And Broken Bones

In the unfortunate event that physical violence is being used against the elderly, there will often be a mark. One place to look is one the wrists and ankles to determine if unnecessary confinements are being used. Anytime your elderly family encounters a broken bone, make sure to fully understand what happened to ensure it was not abuse such as hitting or shoving that led to it.

Hip Fractures in the Elderly Can Have a Hard RecoveryWhen an elderly person is injured in a nursing home, his or her chances of survival can become slim. If the nursing facility is understaffed or lacks resources, an elderly person may be unable to ever properly heal from his or her injuries. Nursing home workers may not be attuned to the needs of the injured victim. They may fail to notice the development of an infection or other serious health issues.

It is important that you pay attention to the recovery of your loved one in a nursing home. If your loved one has been involved in an accident or fall, you should make sure that the nursing home delivers the care that your loved one requires. Federal and state laws mandate that nursing home residents receive adequate care. Under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, nursing home residents have the right to reside in a facility free from abuse, neglect and mistreatment.

Statistics Indicate Poor Survival for Residents with Hip Fractures

Mother’s Assault in Nursing HomeOn Friday, April 13, Louise Jones received the call that every daughter dreads.

“They told me that my mom had taken a blow to the head,” said Jones, whose mother, Elizabeth Kennedy, is a resident at the Maple Grove Health and Rehabilitation Center in Greensboro, NC. “She’s 86 and defenseless, and I wasn’t there to protect her.”

According to Greensboro’s local FOX affiliate, staff at Maple Grove called police after noticing a large bruise on Kennedy’s head. It was unclear from the report who noticed the bruise, or why the facility decided to reach out to authorities when it did. A photo used in the FOX report shows a 2- 3-inch purplish mark above Kennedy’s right eyebrow.

Bed Alarms In Nursing HomesVarious alarms devises are frequently used by nursing homes and hospitals to help keep staff updated as to changes in a resident’s condition or notified in circumstances where a patient may be at risk for harming themselves.

For example, in the case of patients who may be at risk for falling, an alarm on a patient’s bed or chair may alert staff that the patient has moved and staff should address the situation before a patient sustains a fall.

Similarly, in the case of patients on a ventilator, an alarm may be used to notify staff when there is a problem with the machine or when a patient’s oxygen level has dropped.

elderly lady with caneIt’s no secret that falls in the elderly nursing home population remain one of the largest threats to patients safety and overall well-being.  Recognizing this threat, nursing homes must assess each patient for their potential fall-risk and create a plan of care to reduce the incidence of falls during their stay at the facility. 

While fall precautions may including common sense precautions such as: staff assistance, walkers or modification of bed heights— new research suggests that nursing homes need to begin evaluate patient’s use of common antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) which dramatically increase a patient’s risk of falling.

A recently published study in the British Journal of Pharmacology conducted by clinicians in the Netherlands followed a group of 248 nursing home patients diagnosed with dementia over a two-year period. 

senior falling.jpgFalls in nursing homes are one of the biggest safety threats encountered by patients. Statistics tell use that more than one-third of all adults over age 65 fall unintentionally every year.

A sizable percentage of these falls result in severe injury or death predominately due to complications from head injury or hip fractures.

Recognizing the severity of the problem, federal regulations require nursing homes to conduct a fall-risk assessment of all newly admitted patients both at the time of their admission and conduct similar follow up on a quarterly basis or when the patients health care needs dictate.

fractured femur.jpgWhen it comes to prosecuting cases involving fractures of unknown origin, one of the primary defenses proposed by nursing homes is that the fracture was simply “spontaneous”.

In other words, due to the patient’s weakened state, the bone likely fractured simply as a result of the person’s own weight, taking a particular type of medication or as a result of their own movement that may have put awkward pressure on a particular area.

While there indeed may be situations where fractures occur for the reasons mentioned above, many experts in the medical community will agree that such instances of spontaneous fractures are quite rare.  Having prosecuted cases involving a fracture of unknown origin, I frequently consult with orthopedists or other physicians who can examine a patient’s x-rays to evaluate if the fracture was related to trauma.

Patient To Cry In Pain At Fractured Leg Goes IgnoredI’m not sure if it derives out of shame, fear or just plain laziness— but I regularly see situations where a patients complaints of pain following an obvious injury, go ignored by the facility.

A recent horrific example of ignored patient complaints came from our peaceful neighbors to the North. reported on the case of a woman at a Canadian nursing home, that went 24 days without so much as an x-ray of her leg after she fell from her wheelchair and screamed in pain.

Finally, after 24 days of pleas from the patient’s daughter and significant discoloration of the leg, the facility ordered an x-ray of the woman’s leg— which demonstrated that her tibia was indeed broken.

ABC 7 News reported on recent lawsuits filed by five Chicago-area patients who received defective DePuy hip replacement products.  The Chicagoland lawsuits are similar to other lawsuits filed against the medical device manufacturer by patients across the country.

New Lawsuits Filed Against DePuy OrthopedicsAt the heart of the issue is DePuy’s negligent design of hip replacement products that release bits of metal into the patients bodies causing severe pain and potential blood poisoning. Though DePuy moved to recall the hip replacement products in 2010, there is mounting evidence that they were aware of problems with the devices significantly earlier.

The pain and medical complications associated with the DePuy products has resulted in some patients requiring additional hip replacement procedures as well as ongoing medical monitoring of the devices.

Contact Information
Segment Pixel