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Nursing home injuries often result from preventable falls

Crutches in a medical clinis

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are one of the leading causes of nursing home injuries and deaths. In addition to the approximately 1,800 nursing home residents who die annually from injuries related to falls, many more sustain injuries that render them permanently disabled or with a reduction in their quality of life.

The CDC also reports that, in a typical 100-bed nursing home, there are at least 100 and as many as 200 falls reported annually. This is a staggering statistic, especially given the fact that many nursing home injuries are never reported. About half to three-quarters of all nursing home patients will fall at least once a year, and some fall multiple times. Those who are unable to walk are particularly vulnerable to falling, with the CDC reporting that 35% of injuries from falls happen to those who are unable to walk without assistance.

 

Nursing Home Fined Due to Falls

Here in the United States, a nursing home in Connecticut was fined after a resident died from complications of multiple pelvic fractures suffered in a fall. In that case, the resident fell multiple times over a period of several days. State authorities fined the nursing home in connection with the resident’s death, due in part to a registered nurse’s failure to note that the resident repeatedly attempted to get out of her bed.

The Costs of Falls

The CDC estimates that the average hospital bill for a fall injury is around $35,000 (although the cost may be higher in older nursing home residents), with a total of some $34 billion being paid for the direct medical costs of falls in 2013 alone. Typically, Medicare pays for part but not all of the medical costs associated with a fall. In addition to hospital expenses, there can be other expenses associated with a fall, such as doctor fees, rental of medical equipment, rehabilitation services, and medication. There are many other long-term effects from fall injuries as well, such as reduced quality of life, disability, and severe pain.

For Help with a Kentucky Nursing Home Case

If you suspect that a loved one’s fall resulted from a nursing home’s neglect or abuse, you should speak to an attorney about your concerns as soon as possible. The Kentucky nursing home negligence attorneys at English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley can help. For an appointment, call us at (270) 781-8500 and ask for a free case consultation. We help clients in Bowling Green and the surrounding area, as well as elsewhere in Kentucky.

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