There are many ways that an individual in a nursing home can be exposed to risks of death. Accidents in nursing homes are often very easily preventable. Unfortunately, nursing care facilities that are chronically understaffed run the risk of making a mistake that can cost the life of your loved one. These are some of the risks of wrongful death in nursing homes, and how you can be on the lookout for them.
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Infections Acquired in Nursing Homes
There are many infections that can be acquired in nursing homes. Some of these can be deadly if not caught properly or promptly. The most dangerous of all these infections is pneumonia. Caused by many diseases, pneumonia is most often associated with the flu. If properly vaccinated ahead of time, the risks of acquiring pneumonia caused by flu decline sharply. If untreated, however, the risks of death from flu are very real for the oldest age group. Annually, 90% of the individuals killed by flu are age 65 and older.
Risks from Elopement / Wandering Away from Nursing Homes
It is not uncommon for patients to try to leave nursing homes. Unfortunately, many of those who wander away or “elope” are at risk of dying. Many patients in nursing homes are not equipped to survive outside the nursing home. This has lead to many unfortunate incidents where inadequate supervision of patients has led to elopement and death. The most common cause of death for patients who have eloped or been locked outside the facility is exposure. Heat and cold can both be deadly for the more frail members of these age groups.
Deaths from Falls in Nursing Homes
Many patients in nursing homes are subject to falls each year. On average, each patient in a nursing home will fall more than twice every year. Falls can be a deadly risk for many patients in the age group 65 and older, with as many as 10,000 deaths annually from falls. In a nursing home, proper and close supervision of patients can help prevent falls. This includes properly installed bed rails, but not restraints. Some nursing homes continue to place their patients in restraints, even though that has been shown to lead to more injury for patients than falling would cause.
Medication Errors and Wrongful Death
Medication errors are one of the leading causes of death in nursing homes. With the many varied and complicated drugs that patients can be on, fatal drug interactions can commonly come about through misuse of otherwise beneficial drugs. For example, certain blood thinners such as Warfarin and Plavix can be deadly to patients who are susceptible to bleeding. Mistakes regarding diabetes can also be fatal.
Sepsis and Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes
Sepsis can be one of the deadliest risks to nursing home patients. Also known as blood poisoning, sepsis develops from infections by any one of many kinds of bacteria. These bacteria multiply in the body and spread throughout the body. Advanced sepsis can lead to rashes, delirium, shaking, hyperventilation, fever, and chills. In addition to death from blood poisoning, these symptoms can lead to increased risk for other forms of injuries and death, including falls and death by exposure due to elopement.
Contact the Law Offices of d’Oliveira & Associates
We know who some of the more experienced nursing home lawyers are in this area for your type of nursing home case and we are ready to help you. The services we offer our clients who have been the victims of nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence are no exception. The Rhode Island lawyers at d’Oliveira & Associates and our personal injury attorneys work with nursing home lawyers who handle these cases.
Please contact the law offices of d’Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.