Broken Hips Caused by Falls in Nursing Homes
Studies repeatedly show that an elderly individual’s mortality increases significantly within one year after sustaining a broken hip in a fall. And, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five patients dies within a year of breaking his or her hip. These numbers increase dramatically for women, ages 60-69. As falls in nursing homes account for more than 20 percent of deaths among the elderly each year, it is extremely important to ensure that your loved one receives proper treatment to protect against early mortality.
Factors That Increase a Nursing Home Resident’s Mortality
Several factors play a role in increasing an individual’s mortality after suffering a broken hip. These factors include:
- Immobility, which decreases muscle mass
- Increased risk for, and number of, bed sores
- Increased risk for pneumonia
- Higher likelihood of blood clots
- Greater risk for infections
- Lower ability to fight disease
- Negative reactions to pain and/or pain medication
The hip fracture surgery itself also contains several risks. For instance, anesthesia provided during surgery can permanently affect your loved one’s mental status and cognitive abilities. Finally, doctors believe that pre-fall diseases and medical conditions can also play a role in increasing a person’s mortality. Those diseases and conditions include osteoporosis, dementia, COPD, kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Loved One
To help prevent falls while in the nursing home, make sure your loved one’s individual care plan includes tailored fall prevention measures that address his or her specific fall risks. Review the care plan often with your loved one’s doctor and nurses, making sure they update the plan as needed and that they follow it exactly.
If your loved one breaks a hip while in a nursing home, be present as often as possible to check in on his or her progress. Speak to the attending physician frequently about your loved one’s recovery. Make sure the care staff monitors your loved one closely for complications, such as the ones named above. If you notice bed sores, frequent infections or other medical issues, request that the nursing home staff takes immediate action. If you believe that any complications resulted from nursing home negligence or abuse, also reach out to an experienced lawyer for guidance.
Request Your Free Initial Consultation with Our Elder Abuse Law Firm
At The Rooth Law Firm, we have been representing victims of nursing home abuse and neglect for more than 28 years. We have the knowledge and resources to hold negligent care providers accountable for otherwise preventable falls, illnesses and wrongful deaths suffered due to abuse. We welcome you to call us at 877-356-3007 or to connect with us online to further discuss your concerns about your loved one’s fall, broken hip or other issue.