The Risk Of Spinal Cord Injuries In Nursing Homes
Elderly individuals are often more likely to sustain certain kinds of injuries. Spinal cord injuries, for instance, are especially common amongst elderly populations, who are more prone to falling. Unfortunately, besides being serious and painful in their own right, spinal cord injuries can also cause other illnesses, such as pneumonia, which can prove deadly for elderly patients. Because of these risks, nursing homes are required to take extra care in helping residents avoid falls and other accidents that could result in spinal cord injuries.
Although many nursing homes are careful to implement strict supervision and other policies that keep residents safe from this type of injury, an alarming number do not. It is, however, possible to hold careless nursing homes responsible for their neglect in allowing a resident to sustain a serious spinal cord injury, so if your own loved one was hurt while residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is important to reach out to an experienced Tulsa nursing home paralysis lawyer who can help you seek compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering.
The Consequences of Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a crucial part of the system that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, so any injury to that area could have wide ranging and devastating consequences for victims who may suffer from:
- Partial or total paralysis;
- Partial or total loss of feeling;
- Problems with coordination;
- Breathing or respiratory issues;
- Loss of bowel control; and
- Health complications.
Unfortunately, not only are seniors more prone to these kinds of accidents due to their propensity to fall, their ability to recover after sustaining a spinal cord injury is often an uphill battle.
Spinal Cord Injuries in Nursing Homes
The majority of spinal cord injuries that occur in nursing homes are the result of falls while attempting to perform an everyday activity, like getting out of bed, showering, or walking, although they could also be the result of:
- A lack of equipment to help with mobility and balance;
- Poor vision;
- Dizziness caused by dehydration or medications;
- Incidents involving wheelchairs or walkers;
- A failure to clear rooms and hallways of clutter and debris; or
- Being dropped by a staff member during a transfer from bed to chair or vice versa.
It isn’t always possible to prevent a fall. However, well-trained employees who provide proper supervision and support and who ensure that a resident gets prompt medical care, can make all the difference in reducing the likelihood of a spinal cord injury.
Many nursing home residents have limited mobility and may be suffering from other medical conditions, which makes them especially vulnerable to falls and subsequent spinal cord injuries. Recognizing this risk, federal lawmakers put a number of regulations in place with which nursing homes must abide. These requirements include mandatory protocols for fall and injury prevention, as well as training staff in safe lifting and transfer methods. Fortunately, nursing homes that don’t implement these protocols can be held liable for their failure to keep residents safe.
Talk to a Tulsa Paralysis Lawyer Today
If your loved one suffered a spinal cord injury and needs help seeking compensation for medical bills, please call Levinson Law, P.C. at 918-492-4433 for assistance.