Articles Posted in Falls in Nursing Homes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, 1 in 3 elderly adults over the age of 65 suffer from falls, many of which happen in nursing homes—with falls being the leading cause of injury-related death in the age group.

A recent Los Angeles Times article discussed the prevalence of nursing home falls, and that as people get older and more frail, falls can have a life-altering and devastating impact on seniors—often talking a long time before the person can get back to their pre-fall health status, if ever.

To combat the problem of hospital and nursing home falls many programs across the country are being formed to improve fall awareness and prevention. In Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, senior balance classes are offered for their patients, as well as a yearly event for seniors that screen individuals to see who is at risk for falls.

In Lake County, California, a Falls Prevention Task Force has reportedly been implemented with hospitals, fire departments and senior centers, to distribute prevention and awareness literature and sponsor strength and balance classes to improve lower-body strength in seniors.

According to Lake County, when seniors suffer from broken hips due to a fall-related injury and are admitted to a hospital, over 50 percent of the seniors must spend time in a nursing facility or rehab center before going home. Twenty percent of these elderly patients will die within a year of the fall-related injuries.

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According to an article in the Chicago Sun Times that our Maryland nursing home injury attorneys have been following, a recent nursing home fall caused the death of a resident—who tied sheets together and used them as a rope to try and lower himself out of the window and escape.

Ramon Crisantos, a 57-year old resident living in the Woodbridge Nursing Pavilion, reportedly woke up early in the morning, and was observed by a nurse to be doing his normal routine, so she continued her daily duties at the home. Crisantos was later discovered lying on the ground outside the home near a makeshift rope made out of bed sheets that had been tied together. It appeared Crisantos was trying to escape and lower himself out of a window to the ground 10-12 feet below.

Crisantos was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, five hours after being found, from sustaining multiple injuries from the nursing home fall. It reportedly wasn’t clear why Crisantos was trying to sneak out of the nursing facility, as Woodbridge’s website claims that residents are allowed to leave the facility. His death was ruled an accident.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that each year an average nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 nursing home falls, with about 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes dying from fall-related injuries. The CDC reports that finding ways to prevent fall-related injuries with elderly residents in nursing homes and hospitals is extremely important in preventing future injuries.

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In recent news, that our nursing home injury attorneys based in Baltimore, Maryland have been following, the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s nursing home is being sued for negligence by the family of a nursing home resident who reportedly died after suffering from a nursing home fall.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the family claims that the nursing staff failed to properly care for and monitor Carrie Delay, an 89-year old patient at the home who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was bound to a wheelchair. Delay reportedly fell in the stairwell between the first and second floors of the nursing home, fracturing her spine, along with sustaining other critical nursing home injures that her family allege caused her death the following week.

The nursing home is being accused of nursing home neglect, elderly abuse, and wrongful death, and the family’s suit is seeking unspecified punitive damages.

The Carrie Delay incident was reportedly the most serious to date at the facility, which has faced repeated complaints from family members that the quality of elder care has diminished since the fund announced that the nursing home and hospital would shut down. The home has also received two fines from the Department of Public Health for failure to prevent resident falls and serious injuries.

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Another assisted living facility in Illinois has been sued for negligence, according to a Madison Record news story that our Maryland nursing home injury attorneys have been following, after a resident died from health complications and injuries sustained after tripping on a telephone cord in the home’s walkway.

According to the lawsuit, Cambridge House of O’Fallon and BMA management are both being sued by David L. Hubert, a relative of Anastasia J. Hubert, who reportedly sustained a spinal fracture as a result of the nursing home fall.

The assisted living home is being blamed for nursing home negligence, for leaving a telephone cord in the hallway near a nurse’s desk that was unprotected and exposed, allegedly tripping the resident as she walked by the nurse’s desk.

Hubert claims that Hubert’s injuries were a great source of pain and suffering and caused her to sustain a major loss of her normal life, along with major medical costs. Her family also claims that as a result of Hubert’s death, they have suffered the emotional loss of her company.

The CDC reports that over 1,800 residents die each year from falls in nursing homes. Personal injuries sustained from nursing home and hospital falls can be debilitating and expensive for adults to face. As the CDC reports, nursing homes should try to prevent falls by addressing the medical conditions of each resident, as well as identifying the potential risk factors, to ensure that assisted living facilities and hospitals are safe for residents who are at-risk for falls—providing environments that are free from personal injury or wrongful deaths often associated with falls.

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Nursing and rehabilitation center falls continue to be a serious problem for residents who are recovering from surgery, weak, and have difficulty walking or caring for themselves. As our Washington D.C. nursing home negligence attorneys have stated in a blog, nursing home falls can be frequent, painful, debilitating, and can lead to death, with over 1,800 residents dying each year from falls in nursing homes, hospitals and rehabilitation centers, according to the CDC.

In recent news, the family of nursing and rehabilitation resident Robin Volpe has been awarded over $1 million, after the family brought a wrongful death case against the Heather Knoll Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, operated by Sprenger Health Care Systems.

According to the original lawsuit, Volpe entered the rehabilitation center to recover from back surgery of 2006. In July, Volpe reportedly fell while leaving her bed to go to the bathroom, breaking her wrist, hip, and striking her head—injuries that her family claim led to her death one week later. The jury stated that Volpe was left unattended for 2.5 hours before enduring the fall, which led to her leaving her bed. The jury claimed that the center should have a system in place to warn staff if the patient leaves the bed, to reduce nursing home falls and injury. The nursing home is reportedly appealing the case, claiming that a bedside button was available for her to ask for assistance and wait for help.

If a Maryland nursing home or rehabilitation resident becomes injured or dies because the home failed to protect the safety and health of the resident, the nursing or rehabilitation home could be held liable for negligence or wrongful death. Our Baltimore-based attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers represent victims and their families that wish to recover personal injury compensation from nursing home negligence and harm. Call us today at 1-800-654-1949.

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As our nursing home attorneys in Charles County, Maryland have discussed in a previous blog post, falls in nursing homes and hospitals are a major problem today, with over 1,800 residents dying each year due to fall-related injuries, according to the CDC. Although only five percent of adults who are 65-years-old or older live in nursing homes, these people account for 20 percent of the fall-related fatalities.

The CDC reports that elderly residents and patients often fall more than once, with an average of 2.6 falls per person per year. This was allegedly the case with Gladys Feran, a resident of Larchwood Village Retirement Community, whose family is now suing the facility for neglecting to disclose that their mother had experienced 17 falls in 16 months, including the last nursing home fall, which reportedly contributed to her death.

Although people living in nursing homes are among the most frail and at-risk for falls, Feran’s family was reportedly shocked not only at the number of falls their mother experienced, but the failure of the nursing home to tell them about the falls.

Larchwood Village was cited by the state for not reporting a fall from 2008 that led a broken hip and collarbone for Feran. Feran reportedly fell while pushing another resident in a wheelchair, which her family later found out wasn’t the first time she had fallen from this kind of activity.

In April 2009, Feran experienced her final nursing home fall while turning off her television and after being checked out by a nurse, was put back on the couch. Feran was taken to the hospital one week later after experiencing serious pain, where she was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis. Two weeks later, Feran reportedly died of a lung infection that the coroner ruled was linked to the broken pelvis.

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In recent news that our nursing home injury attorneys in Baltimore, Maryland have been following, the wife of a nursing home resident who died last year after suffering from multiple nursing home falls as well as an infected pressure sore, has filed a lawsuit against the Illinois nursing home, seeking more than $50,000 in damages for nursing home negligence.

According to the lawsuit, Ralph Shafer was admitted to the nursing home in September of 2007, after suffering from two strokes, with signs of hypertension, dementia, and diabetes, among other health concerns. Shafer, who was 87 at the time, was reportedly at risk for nursing home falls, and according to Shafer’s wife, the nursing home facility failed to prevent his frequent falls. One tragic fall in 2008 led to a massive nursing home injury, where Shafer broke his hip and required surgery.

Shafer’s wife is also accusing the nursing home of failing to prevent the infection of a pressure sore on Shafer’s ankle, that reportedly developed as a result of his diabetes. Shafer died in April of 2009 from gangrene and osteomyelitis at the site of the wound, as well as complications from advanced dementia.

Osteomyelitis is a bacterial inflammation of the bones, that can develop when a Stage IV pressure sore causes severe damage to the skin, muscle and bone. As our Maryland nursing home injury lawyers discussed in a related blog, if a nursing home resident is bedridden, in a wheelchair, immobile with diabetes, has circulation issues or mental disabilities, and incontinence, the residents should be checked daily for pressure sores, and moved every two hours to relieve pressure and prevent skin breakdown that leads to pressure sores. The primary goal of pressure sore treatment is preventing them before they start.

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Our Baltimore nursing home injury attorneys have been following a recent lawsuit filed by the children of well-known Hollywood film and television actor Gene Barry, who allege that a nursing home neglected to monitor the actor’s health after he suffered a tragic nursing home fall, which led to his death.

Barry was reportedly admitted to Sunrise of Woodland Hills nursing home in stable condition in June of 2009 at the age of 90, even though the home was not equipped to properly care for the actor’s health needs, as he suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Barry’s children allege that their father suffered a devastating nursing home fall at the facility in December of 2009, that left him with major head injuries, brain damage, broken ribs, and an injury to his hip. The lawsuit claims that after Barry’s fall, the nursing home failed to notify a doctor and Barry’s children, and for four days he was neglected while he suffered in great pain. According to Barry’s family, this nursing home fall caused his wrongful death.

Barry’s children state that the nursing home staff, management and corporate officers are liable for nursing home negligence, elder abuse, wrongful death and nursing home fraud, in relation to the tragic incidents that led to Barry’s death. The suit claims that Barry was not properly assessed during the pre-admission process in the home, and the facility staff and management reportedly falsely represented the home to Barry’s children—as Barry was promised a nursing home environment filled with a proper standard of care that he was legally entitled to. The complaint alleges that the facility fell short of this promise, and was not equipped to handle Barry’s needs.

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Our Washington D.C. nursing home injury attorneys recently discussed the prevalence of falls in nursing homes and hospitals in a blog, and how to reduce the number of falls that can result in nursing home resident injury and wrongful death throughout the nation.

The CDC reports that over 1,800 residents die each year from falls in nursing homes. Injuries sustained from nursing homes and hospital falls can be frequent, debilitating, and expensive health care issues for elderly adults to face. As the CDC reports, finding ways to prevent fall-related injuries with elderly residents in nursing homes and hospitals is extremely important in preventing future injuries.

Elderly residents who are weak, have difficulty caring for themselves or have difficulty walking, are often prone to nursing home or hospital falls, along with patients who have chronic health conditions, or memory problems like Alzheimer’s or dementia.

According to Dr. Ronald I. Shorr, MD, in hospitals, there are generally two types of patients who fall: patients who are frail, and patients who don’t want to interrupt or bother the hospital staff. Hospital providers have reportedly found success in preventing falls by installing alarms, scheduling the administration of medication to prevent falls, redesigning rooms to have bathrooms closer to beds, and updating fall-risk assessments that are shared with healthcare teams and patients, while they are hospitalized and after they leave to return home. Shorr is reportedly in the middle of a study funded by the National Institute of Health on how to prevent falls.

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In a recent wrongful death and negligence lawsuit settlement, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has agreed to pay the family of a retired Philadelphia police officer and Korean war veteran $250,000, after the elderly man wandered unsupervised from the state veterans nursing home and froze to death.

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that our Baltimore nursing home negligence attorneys have been following, Chapman was 75-years-old, and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. On December 31, 2007, Chapman reportedly wandered away from the home wearing his pajamas, to the outside cold that fell below freezing that night. The surveillance camera recorded Chapman’s exit, where he walked right by the security staff, and was unnoticed by the staff.

Chapman’s daughter alleged in the lawsuit that the workers were negligent in their duties and distracted because of the home’s plans for a New Year’s party. Chapman’s wandering was reportedly not noticed for two hours, even though it was their duty to monitor him. Chapman’s body was found the next morning, and according to his widow, it was only a few hundred yards from them home. The cause of death was ruled as hypothermia by the autopsy.

In an inspection report that came from the state Health Department, the home was cited for failing to take timely action, that resulted in harm and death to the veterans home resident. After the incident, records reportedly show that several of the veterans home staff were suspended or received reprimand. According to agency officials, procedures have been put into place to prevent a recurrence of this type of tragedy. The settlement agreement will reportedly be given to Chapman’s daughters, and to the family’s estate.

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