Elderly Hip Fractures and Nursing Home Falls

Our Baltimore nursing home injury attorneys have been following a recent University of Maryland School of Medicine study, published in the American Geriatrics Society’s Clinical Geriatrics Journal, stating that over 300,000 people over the age of sixty-five in the United States will experience a hip fracture every year, making it the second leading cause of hospitalizations for older persons.

As our attorneys discussed in a related Maryland nursing home blog post, traumatic injuries involving nursing home falls are a major concern for elderly individuals and seniors in nursing homes around the country. Hip fractures are frequently the result of a nursing home fall or minor trauma, or when the bone becomes fragile and deteriorated to the point that it cannot hold the weight of the person. By the year 2040, it is estimated there will be an increase of 500,000 annual hip fractures.

Hip fractures challenge the quality of life for older adults, as it can lead to mortality, restricted mobility, and decline in strength, lean body mass, and bone mineral density, as well as depression and constant pain.

According to the study, 18-33 percent of elderly patients with fractured hips will die within one year of their hip fracture, with 13.5 percent dying within the first 6 months. The study also found that those who survive the hip fracture will experience a reduction of mobility, and will have problems functioning on their own, with only 50-60 percent of hip fracture patients recovering their pre-injury walking capabilities in the first year following the fracture. Many of the patients who were completely independent in their daily activities were found to have developed new dependencies after the fracture of the hip.

The study also found that recurrent falls and fractures were common among those who suffered from a first fracture. The risk factors that were associated with the second hip fracture were reduced mobility, dizziness, advanced age, cognitive impairment, diminished visual depth perfection, decline in bone mineral density, and poor self-perceived health status.

In the State of Maryland, contact our experienced nursing home injury attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers today.

Impact of Trauma-Related Hip Fractures on the Older Adult, Clinical Geriatrics, June 2010

Related Web Resources:

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC)

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, DHMH

Related Blog Posts:

Nursing Home Fall Awareness and Prevention, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, May 6, 2011
Nursing Facility Fall Leads to Death of Escaping Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, April 21, 2011
Reducing Nursing Home and Hospital Falls to Prevent Patient Injury, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, December 7, 2010

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