legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Broken Bones in Nursing Homes
Nursing home residents have a much higher risk of fracturing bones than anyone else. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), adults in the elderly population will fall at least once in most skilled nursing facilities.
Many injury cases involving a broken bone occur from nursing home negligence or elder abuse by staff members. While most nursing home fractures are not fatal, nearly all bone breaks lead to elderly residents suffering emotional and physical trauma.
The lives of older adults are often dramatically changed after suffering a traumatic fracture. Their injuries might require multiple surgeries and physical therapy to stabilize the patient's medical condition to avoid physical decline.
Did you suffer a bone fracture in a nursing home? If so, our personal injury law firm can help you recover a fair settlement. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation.
Statistics On Elderly Falls Involving Fractures and Broken Bones
The elderly population is at a greater risk of bone fracture. Staff members should be doing more to prevent falls and protect residents from fracture injuries in residents' rooms and community areas.
The following injury statistics of adults of advanced age highlight the need to prevent broken bones:
- Falls among adults 65 and older caused over 34,000 deaths in 2019, making it the leading cause of injury death for that group.
- In 2019, the emergency department recorded, by federal regulations, three million visits for older adult falls, including seniors with unexplained fractures.
- Nursing home fractures involving older adults cost $50 billion in medical costs annually, with three-fourths paid by Medicare and Medicaid.
- Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
- Over 800,000 patients are hospitalized yearly because of a fall injury, most often for a head injury or hip fracture.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by residents falling, usually by falling sideways.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other serious complications related to senior citizens in nursing homes
Types of Broken Bones in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
Nursing home residents can suffer broken bones or fractures anywhere. The type of broken bone and specific risk factors depend on how and where the trauma occurred. When an elderly nursing home resident attempts to break a fall, and the nursing home fails to assist the falling patient, there is an increased risk that they could fracture their wrist or arm.
Common types of broken bones found in elderly patients in a caregiving home are:
Doctors can often determine the cause of senior citizen physical trauma after experiencing unexplained broken bones. Hip fractures in nursing homes primarily result from falls, whereas skull fractures could come from physical abuse by a nursing home staff member.
If the information regarding the fall provided by a nursing home does not match the location or severity of the fracture, it could be an instance of physical abuse or neglect.
Why Do Fractures Happen to Nursing Home Residents?
Fractured bones in elderly patients can happen in various ways in a nursing facility. Nursing homes invariably argue that the injury occurred due to the resident's weakened body. However, nursing home negligence could still be to blame for an unexplained fracture.
Some of the common reasons why residents suffered broken bones include:
- Residents fall while trying to get around on their own
- Elderly nursing home residents with osteoporosis are at a higher risk for a broken bone
- Nursing home staff members drop residents while attempting to transfer them
- Nursing home staff members fail to follow the approved resident's care plan that instructs the use of multiple caregivers while transferring the resident from the bed to the wheelchair or shower
- Nursing home assault where residents are physically shoved, bumped, or hit
- Natural hazards in the environment of nursing homes, such as a slippery floor or an obstruction in a walking path that causes a resident to fall
- Unexplained fractures that might not reveal the risk factors involved such as the patient's medical condition, mobility challenges, or nursing home negligence
A Care Facility's Duty to Protect Patients From Bone Fractures
Long-term care facilities and nursing homes have many obligations to prevent resident falls. Their most important responsibility is to exercise due care in tending to and supervising the resident.
In many cases, it will mean that the facility needs adequate staff to care for the nursing home resident.
Many accidents and hazardous conditions occur at medical facilities that do not have enough staff, stretching their existing staff too thin. In some instances, residents injure themselves when attempting to get to the bathroom when the staff has not answered a call button.
What Happens When Nursing Home Patients Are Injured?
Hip fractures are the most common type of broken bone in nursing home patients. Many hip fractures will require surgery to repair, exposing the resident to new risks as they attempt to recover from the surgery.
Unfortunately, residents in nursing homes are a shadow of their former selves after they suffer a broken hip. Once the resident has suffered traumatic fractures, they will likely need additional medical care for the rest of their lives.
Nursing Home Fracture Hospitalization Statistics
When a nursing home resident loses mobility, it has effects beyond the physical. It can also affect the emotional well-being of a senior. Beyond that, more sedentary residents are also at risk of other illnesses and bedsores if the staff does not take proper care to shift their body position.
A recent study found:
- Older adults were fifteen times more likely to be hospitalized in the first month after their broken bone injury than other residents.
- Older adults are thirty-one times more likely to have a further injury, including another fracture if that first fracture was a broken hip.
- The hospitalization rate is still elevated three to twelve months after a fracture.
Compensation Available After Patients Sustain Broken Bones in Nursing Homes
If your loved one has lost some of their life quality due to the action, inaction, or physical abuse of a staff member, the family can hold the care facility liable.
When a nursing resident suffers a fall injury such as a bone fracture, fractured hip, or broken femur bone, the compensation will be estimated according to their medical bills, pain, and suffering.
Even if the fracture was fatal, the fact that your loved one suffered in pain is caused to hold the assisted living facility financially liable.
Fractured Bone Injuries: Nursing Home Abuse FAQs
Our personal injury attorneys understand that many families have unanswered questions when dealing directly with nursing homes and insurance companies when their loved one or family member is injured. A lawyer from our law offices has answered some of those questions below.
Contact us today at (800) 926-7565 for additional information regarding broken bones in nursing homes or to use our free legal consultation.
The broken bones of young children and healthy adults tend to heal fast while the body forms calli and increases bone protein production needed to create new bone tissue. The patient could speed up the healing process by consuming mineral supplements that help produce bone tissue faster.
The supplements include zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, silicon, and calcium.
Generally, severely fractured bones, such as a hip fracture, might take up to twelve weeks or longer to heal based on the patient's age and health. Typically, younger bones heal quickly.
The surgeon will likely evaluate the patient's healing process, determining how much weight the resident could bear on the affected ankle, leg, or foot.
Bone fractures caused by violent accidents, serious falls, or sporting events usually require immediate medical attention in emergency rooms to repair the damage and treat the pain.
Some broken bones in nursing homes worsen over time, creating progressive problems by repeated stress on the affected area or developing an infection. Without treatment, the patient might suffer long-term nerve damage, deformity or malunion, and stress or damage to ligaments and muscles.
All significant breaks and bone fractures require immediate medical treatment at urgent care centers or hospital emergency rooms. Every broken bone that protrudes through the victim's skin or is mangled and misaligned by trauma requires medical or surgical intervention.
Severely broken bones and fractures might include:
A transverse fracture occurs when a bone breaks at a 90-degree angle to the long axis of the bone. Typically, a blow transmits a large force directly perpendicular to the bone. Transverse fractures require an orthopedic trauma surgeon.
An oblique fracture is characterized by a curved break or at an angle to the bone. A sharp blow from an angle (i.e., above or below) may cause oblique fractures.
A comminuted fracture can be severe. In this type of fracture, a bone breaks into several fragments. Small bones, such as the bones in the hands or feet, are highly susceptible to comminuted fracture.
Comminuted and compression fractures often occur following a car accident or another serious event.
A greenstick fracture is often observed in children whose bones have yet to develop fully. A child's soft bones may not break when dealt a significant force, causing the bone to bend. Sometimes, the outer side of the bend breaks while the rest of the bone remains unbroken.
Athletes sometimes complain of stress fractures, which can seriously impede athletic performance. A stress fracture is a hairline fracture in the bone that may lead to significant discomfort. Hairline fractures are serious injuries often caused by repetitive motion.
According to orthopedic surgeons, broken bones will eventually heal with or without a cast despite the greater risk. However, if the fracture is not reset in its proper alignment, it could heal misaligned, causing the body part to malfunction during usage.
Proper alignment of the broken area with a cast is essential for the long bones of the legs and arms. Specific broken bones, including the shoulders, collar bones, and ribs, might not require casting.
Additionally, fractured fingers and toes of senior citizens could be held in place using tape or a splint.
Has Your Loved One Suffered a Fracture While at A Nursing Home? Speak To a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Now
A nursing home must protect residents against falls resulting in fractures to the best of their ability. Fractures are unacceptable, and when elderly nursing home residents suffer a bone fracture, the facility fails in its obligation, whether staff members act in ignorance, negligence, or perpetrate elder abuse.
Contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, to discuss possible legal action for a personal injury lawsuit against the facility where your loved one or family member was injured.
We advise you whether you can hold the nursing home facility liable for the actions or inactions of staff that might have caused the incident.
We offer a free consultation and can provide you and your family with legal representation. Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free legal case review.