Nursing home falls occur too often. In most cases, the fall was preventable with the development and implementation of a meaningful fall prevention plan.
Nursing home falls often result in permanent disability of the patient and significantly reduces their remaining quality of life.
Common Causes of Nursing Home Falls
Lack of an Individualized and Adequate Fall Prevention Plan: which requires a fall prevention plan tailored to the needs of each individual patient. Most nursing homes have a fall prevention plan but it is not adequate for the individual needs of each patient. Many nursing homes only develop fall prevention plans that are adequate to meet their obligations under the law. They are often boilerplate and do not reference or refer to any individual patient’s particular risks and needs.
Failing to Monitor Patients at Risk of Falling: many nursing home patients have diseases and other disabilities that put them at increased risk of falling. These conditions make them unsteady on their feet, unable to detect trip and other similar hazards, and more likely to fall. Despite this, they are often not monitored appropriately and as a result, they fall due to the known medical conditions.
Mediation Side-Effects: many medications that are taken by nursing home patients impact their ability to maintain their balance, perceive known trip hazards, and catch their balance when they stumble. These medications are provided to calm the patient down but instead puts them at harm for injuries sustained due to a fall.
Ordinary Hazard Maintenance: some falls that occur in nursing homes result from hallways, rooms, and common areas not being properly cleaned, cleared and maintained to ensure there are no defects in rugs or objects in the path where patients walk.
No Fall Prevention Equipment: lack of appropriate bed rails and guard rails in patients rooms.
Understaffing: lack of adequate supervision of patients that need to be monitored closely to ensure they do not fall.
Common Injuries that Result from Falls in Nursing Homes
Some of the most tragic injuries in nursing homes result from falls. Many common fall injuries include:
- Neck and Spinal Injuries
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Hip Fractures
- Leg Fractures
- Arm Fractures
If you or your loved one have been the victims of nursing home abuse and negligence due to a preventable fall in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, contact our office today for a free and confidential case evaluation.