During the hot and humid summer months in Maryland, nursing homes have a responsibility to keep temperatures under control within the facilities in order to keep residents safe and healthy. Older adults are more susceptible to heat-related health issues. As a result, Maryland nursing homes should monitor residents for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and if a resident exhibits symptoms, the facility should immediately check for heat-related health issues and treat residents. A facility’s failure to do so may result in the facility being liable for any resulting injuries.
Heat exhaustion is when a person overheats and can lead to severe heatstroke. Heatstroke can occur when the body temperature rises to 104 degrees or higher. Heatstroke requires emergency treatment, and if untreated, it can affect a person’s brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. If treatment is delayed, the damage to the body increases, and serious injuries and death are more likely to occur.
A person experiencing heatstroke may exhibit symptoms of confusion, slurred speech, seizures, vomiting, a racing heart rate, and other symptoms. Once someone begins to experience these symptoms, they need to be cooled down immediately, for example, by putting the person in a cool tub of water. Heatstroke as a result of being exposed to a hot environment (as opposed to heatstroke caused by engaging in strenuous activity) is most common among older adults and those with chronic illness, such as heart or lung disease.
Holding Nursing Homes Accountable
If a nursing home fails to keep residents safe, the facility may be liable for the injuries or death. This includes instances involving heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Nursing homes must provide residents with proper care and a safe environment. A Maryland nursing home may be liable for the injuries or death of a resident caused by heat exhaustion or heat stroke if the nursing home failed to adequately care for the resident by failing to keep the patient cool, failed to recognize signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, or failed to properly treat the resident.
To prove that a nursing home was negligent, a plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to protect the plaintiff, the defendant breached its duty by acting or failing to act, the plaintiff suffered an injury or loss, and the injury or loss was caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. If a resident dies from heatstroke, certain family members may be able to recover damages through a Maryland wrongful death claim.
Have Your Claim Evaluated by a Nursing Home Lawyer
If your loved one has suffered injuries due to heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or another injury at a Maryland nursing home or long-term care facility, discuss your claim with a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer. Nursing homes are tasked with caring for their residents and should be held accountable for their actions. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, we have over two decades of experience representing injured victims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Contact us at 1-800-654-1949 or through our online form to set up a free consultation.