New Report Indicates that Nursing Homes Consistently Underreport Certain Injuries
While the underreporting of accidents in nursing homes has become a disturbing trend over the last decade, a recently published report indicates that the problem may be worse than was initially thought. Specifically, the report found that serious injuries that are often the result of negligence or abuse, such as bedsores, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and fall injuries are underreported at especially high rates. Unfortunately, the underreporting of accidents and injuries in nursing homes poses serious risks for residents. It is, however, possible to hold negligent nursing home facilities liable for their negligence in causing and failing to report resident injuries, so if your loved one was hurt while residing in a nursing home, but the injury or accident initially went unreported, you should speak with a Tulsa nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you seek compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering on your relative’s behalf.
Although studies have revealed that a wide range of injuries go unreported at nursing homes, certain injuries tend to go underreported at an alarmingly high rate, including bedsores, which are estimated to go underreported by more than 50 percent of nursing homes. Bedsores or pressure ulcers, which are injuries to the skin caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, are frequent in nursing homes and are good indicators of the quality of care in a facility.
Nursing home residents are predisposed to these types of injuries, which are more likely to affect those who are immobile for long periods of time, struggle with incontinence, have impaired nutrition, or problems with cognition. Furthermore, older adults with bedsores are at a much higher risk of developing deadly infections, making it especially important for nursing home facilities to implement preventive measures, such as moving residents every two hours, maintaining good nutrition and fluid intake, and keeping the skin clean and dry.
Urinary Tract Infections
The recent study also revealed that UTIs are also chronically underreported by nursing homes, where residents are more at risk of suffering from this kind of infection as a result of the use of catheters. While there are guidelines in place to prevent catheter-associated UTIs, such as limiting the use of catheters, minimizing the duration of their use, using sanitation-based techniques, maintaining a closed drainage system, and conducting diligent hand hygiene, understaffing at nursing home facilities and a lack of training among employees, have led to a widespread failure to comply with these regulations.
Falls are extremely dangerous for nursing home residents and unfortunately, are also common in nursing home facilities. In fact, it is estimated that of the 1.6 million residents in U.S. nursing home facilities, around 50 percent will fall every year. Falls tend to have serious consequences for residents, decreasing their quality of life and ability to function, with an estimated one out of every ten residents who fall suffering from a serious injury, such as a hip fracture, head trauma, or spinal cord injury.
Call Today for Help
If your loved one is living in a nursing home and they develop a bedsore, UTI, or fall injury, they could be suffering from abuse or neglect. Please call 918-492-4433 to learn more from the experienced Tulsa nursing home abuse lawyers at Levinson Law, P.C. today.