Are preventable injuries a danger to nursing home residents?

Are you confident that your loved ones are getting the care they deserve in a nursing home? A recent story may raise concerns. Although the article specifically profiled rehabilitation hospitals, a clear analogy can be drawn to elderly residents who may not have the health to voice their concerns or protect their rights.

As background, a rehabilitation hospital is often not actually associated with a hospital. Rather, it is a facility that provides physical and/or occupational therapy to patients who need a course of treatment to recover, such as stroke victims or post-surgery patients. The treatments may be provided several hours per day, and multiple days per week.

Alarmingly, an oversight study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that nearly 30 percent of patients suffered harm during their stay. The injuries included medication errors, bedsores and infections. Notably, nearly half of the injuries involved preventable harm.

One of the leaders of the study cautioned that similar injuries might result in any type of inpatient setting. Nursing home facilities might fall under that umbrella definition, as they often include nursing staff that provide services to elderly residents with medical needs.

As a law firm that focuses on nursing home abuse, we are experienced in examining the causes of injury or abuse. We often work with medical experts to determine whether an incident was preventable. If it was, a jury may determine that negligence was to blame for the preventable harm, and that compensation is due the victim for his or her injuries. An attorney can work not only to pursue such compensation, but also to achieve better care going forward in the nursing home.

Source: NPR, “Rehab Hospitals May Harm A Third Of Patients, Report Finds,” Marshall Allen, July 21, 2016

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