FALLS IN VIRGINIA NURSING HOMES AND HOSPITALS

How scary. You receive a call from Nurse Ratchet on the 3rd floor of the hospital because your brother fell out of the hospital bed… Or worse, fell in the bathroom and hit his head on the porcelain sink, rendering him unconscious.

Perhaps the Director of Nursing at ABC Nursing Home has been asked to call Mr. Smith’s wife because Mr. Smith fell in the hall way of the nursing home fracturing his left hip, or knee, or femur.

A few years ago Dan handled a two cases for the family of an elderly woman in a nursing homes was found by staff unconscious and not breathing after she had attempted to get out of bed and became entangled in her bed rails.

Falls happen in hospitals and nursing homes all the time. Why? There are many reasons.

If your loved one has recently had a stroke, change in medication, broken bone, etc., he or she is a fall risk. This means the staff of the facility needs to evaluate ways to decrease the risk for falls and put various fall precautions in place.

Fall precaution may include colored bracelet so other staff know a resident is a fall risk. One may be lower bed, or pads on the floor next to the bed. Bed alarms and chair alarms can’t prevent a fall, but should be used to notify staff that the patient is trying to move alone.

According to Centers for Disease Control, each year, an average nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls.

About 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries.

Those who experience non-fatal falls can suffer injuries, have difficulty getting around and have a reduced quality of life.

Falls are serious. We can help families work with facilities to prevent falls, and god forbid one causes injury to your loved ones, we are available to help.

To read Dan’s article on the danger of bed rails, or read Lauren’s article on restrainst in nursing homes, visit Frith Law Firm’s website. We look forward to speaking with you further.

Lauren Ellerman

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.