Nursing Home Injuries in Indiana
As the population of the United State ages, more individuals are moving into nursing homes. While most people living in nursing homes have a great experience, nursing home injuries in Indiana are still prevalent. In fact, elderly people living in a nursing home become injured at a higher rate than elderly people living outside of a nursing home. With all the attendants and care, that may seem odd. But when you dig into the topic, you find that injury caused by negligence is a massive issue in nursing homes all around the country.
Five Facts about Nursing Home Injuries:
- According to a report provided by the National Institute of Health, “an average of 2 million infections occur in nursing homes in the USA per year.”
- A recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted that in each individual year from 2013 through 2017, 39 percent to 41 percent of surveyed nursing homes had an infection prevention and control deficiency.
- The CDC observed that “among nursing home residents with an ED visit in the past 90 days, 40 percent had a potentially preventable ED visit.”
- One working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that nursing homes owned by private equity firms “increased excess mortality for residents by 10%, increased prescription of antipsychotic drugs for residents by 50%, decreased hours of frontline nursing staffing by 3%, and increased taxpayer spending per resident by 11%. That suggests an additional 20,150 lives lost as a result of private equity ownership.”
- Using data from a study conducted in 2004, the CDC found that “Of the 1.5 million current U.S. nursing home residents in 2004, about 159,000 (11%) had pressure ulcers of any stage. Stage 2 was the most common (5%), accounting for about 50% of all pressure ulcers. Stages 1, 3, and 4 made up about the other 50% of all ulcers.”
If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligence in a nursing home, it’s important for you to act quickly. Call an Indiana nursing home injury attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 455-4043 or complete our online contact form to schedule an appointment. Our team will take immediate steps to review your injury and put into action a strategy to recover the damages that you may deserve.
Common Nursing Home Injuries in Indiana
Nursing home injuries are any type of physical trauma suffered by a resident of a long-term care facility. Some of the more common nursing home injuries in Indiana include bedsores, fractures, infections, slips and falls, concussions, spinal injuries, and bedrail injuries. While some of these injuries may seem less severe to a younger individual, it’s important to remember that the elderly are much more susceptible to suffering long-term physical disability from injury and illness, and in some cases, even death.
Bedsores: Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, occur when a person lies in the same spot for an extended period. This results in skin damage, necrosis, and infection. For elderly people, if left untreated, bedsores can prove to be lethal.
Fractures: As people get older, their bones become weaker. Therefore, it’s no surprise that nursing home residents are at higher risk for fractures. For example, nursing home residents are two times more likely to sustain a hip fracture than the rest of the population. Sadly, 1 in 3 nursing home residents will die within six months of sustaining a hip fracture.
Concussions: When someone is in an accident that results in brain trauma, they may suffer from a concussion. Although concussions are not typically life-threatening, they could lead to problems such as memory issues, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, or mood swings. Elderly people who sustain a concussion experience more complications than younger people, and more often experience a detriment to their quality of life.
Infections: The older a person gets, the more likely they are to get an infection. Sadly, infections are one of the leading causes of death in nursing homes, if left untreated. Since 2020, over 187,000 nursing home residents have died due to COVID-19.
Spinal Cord Injuries: When someone sustains spinal cord damage, it may prevent their brain from signaling to other parts of the body. This could lead to paralysis, difficulty breathing, and loss of bowel control, among other ailments. It also increases the chance of death, as over 27% of elderly patients who suffer a cervical spine fracture die within one year.
Slips and Falls: Slips and falls happen every day. For most people, they don’t result in severe injury but for the elderly, a slip and fall can be catastrophic. This type of accident can lead to fractures, spinal injuries, concussions, and in some cases, death. According to the CDC, slips and falls tend to happen more in nursing home facilities. In fact, only 5% of adults 65 and older live in nursing homes, however, they account for about 20% of deaths stemming from slips and falls within this age group.
Bed Rail Injuries: Although bed rails are meant to protect people, they can sometimes put an elderly person in danger. According to the FDA, between 1985 and 2009, “there were 803 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in beds with rails. Of these reports, 480 people died, 138 had a nonfatal injury, and 185 were not injured because staff intervened. Most patients were frail, elderly or confused.”
Who Can be Held Liable for Nursing Home Injuries in Indiana?
Nursing home residents fully depend on their long-term care facility for medical treatment, food, hygiene, and shelter. Therefore, nursing homes and their employees have a legal duty to provide residents with a reasonable level of care. What determines a “reasonable level of care” is based on industry standards and the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act.
If a nursing home facility or any of the facility’s employees’ negligent actions have caused you or your loved one harm, then you may be eligible to pursue legal action to remedy the situation. As Indiana nursing home injury attorneys, we can help you determine whether the facility or someone more specific, like a doctor, nurse, or staff member, is liable for the injury. To learn more about your case, schedule a free appointment with an experienced and compassionate Indiana nursing home injury lawyer at (317) 455-4043 or by completing our online contact form.
Nursing Home Facilities
The nursing home may be held responsible if a resident suffers injury or abuse. One of the most common grounds for holding a facility responsible in the case of nursing home injuries in Indiana is negligence. Every nursing injury case is unique, but typically negligence is found when a nursing home facility does not retain a proper number of caregivers, fails to perform background checks, verify qualifications, or has not properly trained their staff. Negligence may also occur in the form of facility or equipment maintenance, especially when it comes to wheelchairs, walkers, beds, and other equipment used by the facility’s residents.
Nursing Home Caregivers
In a nursing home setting, doctors, nurses, and caregivers have a duty to provide residents with a reasonable amount of medical attention, hygiene, dietary assistance, and in general, care. If they neglect to fulfill these duties or intentionally cause harm to a resident, they may be held liable for an injury. Examples of situations where a medical professional could be found liable include failure to properly administer medicine, deviation from an established care plan, or the neglect of a person’s physical condition until harm has occurred.
Other Nursing Home Employees
Nursing home employees, like maintenance or security staff, may be held liable if an injury results from their failure to properly fulfill the duties of their employment. This includes keeping the facilities free from potential hazards, like debris in walkways, spills, or damaged steps. Nursing home staff must also adequately monitor their residents to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being, and that no one is putting themselves or others at risk.
Taking Action for Nursing Home Injuries in Indiana
When you or your loved one has suffered injury or abuse in a nursing home in Indiana, you have several avenues which you can take to remedy the situation. Most people start by lodging a formal complaint with the Long-Term Care Division of the Indiana State Department of Health. This department regulates nursing homes in Indiana. They inspect all facilities annually, review and investigate complaints, and provide licensure. If the injury or abuse was severe enough to warrant a criminal investigation, you could also contact local law enforcement and make a police report against the responsible party.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or abuse in a nursing home, you can also file a personal injury claim against that party. This avenue would allow you or your loved one to recover damages in the form of financial compensation for the injuries sustained at an Indiana nursing home. Although one does receive money from an injury claim like this, the lawsuit is often much bigger than the compensation; it allows a person to hold the liable party responsible and can effect real change in the facility. Even if you’re not interested in the compensation, you can rest assured that your lawsuit may prevent other nursing home residents from similar harm.
Injured in a Nursing Home and Need an Advocate?
If you, or someone close to you, has been injured in a nursing home, an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you better understand your case. Our team will take immediate steps to review the circumstances of the injury and develop an effective strategy to attempt to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (317) 455-4043 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and compassionate Indiana nursing home injury lawyer.