Traumatic Facial Injuries Common in Nursing Homes, per New Study
Elder Abuse Attorney Serving Victims of Facial Injuries in Florida Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are there to care for loved ones. They keep them safe, clean, and healthy. As people age, they may suffer from a myriad of ailments – a simple injury could have a dramatic impact on their health, well-being, and possible medical care required in the future.
While nursing homes have a distinct obligation to their clients to provide them with a safe environment, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that the common accident of falling leads to serious facial trauma in residents of these facilities.
The Growing Problem of Nursing Home Injuries in the United States
Multiple studies have looked at facial trauma and other injuries that are occurring in nursing homes. Patients in these homes averaged 60 years or older. During the study, the number of nursing home residents were divided by their diagnosis, site, demographic data, and the reasons for their facial injury.
In total, those researchers found that 109,795 residents required emergency medical care for facial trauma. Older women in the group suffered the majority of those injuries. The two most common injuries of the face due to falls were lacerations and soft-tissue damage. Twelve percent of those cases included nasal and orbital bone fractures, which are extremely painful and hard to treat. Nursing home patients were typically injured when they encountered housing elements and fixtures in their room, and a quarter of those cases happened when the patient was exiting his or her bed.
Slip and Fall Injuries in a Nursing Home Are a “Never Event”
Never events refer to the adverse medical events that should never happen. There are currently 29 never events listed by the National Quality Forum. One such event is patient injury or death from a fall while being cared for in a healthcare-like setting (including nursing homes and assisted living facilities).
Slip and fall accidents are preventable in these types of care facilities. Despite the numerous regulations put into place to stop these kinds of injuries from occurring, more than 100,000 facial traumas over the past five years happened in the nursing home setting.
What Caused the Falls?
Structural Elements – Elements around the property tend to produce the greatest number of falls.
Transfers – When patients are transferred (by themselves or with assistance) from a bed, they rely on safety mechanisms. These mechanisms may not be in place or may be defective.
Wet or Slick Floors – Slippery surfaces are dangerous in a nursing home setting because elderly patients have less control over their bodies in these conditions.
Lack of Supervision – Nursing home staff are required to supervise their residents. If patients suffer from limited mobility, the team must take measures to ensure they can safely get in and out of bed or around other areas of the facility.
If a loved one has suffered traumatic facial injuries or other injuries as the result of a slip and fall, contact a personal injury attorney today.
The Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld P.A. are here to hold nursing homes accountable and not let them practice negligent care with our loved ones. Schedule a free consultation now by calling 954-807-1334 or request your consultation online.