A Broken Bone or Fracture Can Be a Sign of Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence

Ohio Nursing Home Abuse Falls and Broken BonesStatistics show that eleven million elderly people suffer broken bones annually, which is one out of three elderly Americans. As people age, their bones become more frail, and fractures may occur from even the most ordinary and gentle movement. However, it is also unfortunately true that a fractured bone in an Ohio nursing home patient can be caused by the carelessness of a staff member.

If you have a loved one who has suffered a broken bone while living in a nursing home, it may be difficult to determine if the occurrence was natural, or if it was caused by nursing home abuse or negligence. It may take both medical and legal experts to get to the bottom of any particular injury. But there are some signs that you can look to when trying to figure out what happened.

One general rule of thumb is to take a look at the type of fracture that the patient has suffered. That can at least help determine that direction that the investigation should take. There are three general types of fractures that elderly people can have: stress fractures, spontaneous (compression) fractures, and traumatic fractures.

Stress fractures are actually tiny cracks in bones caused by overuse and repetitive motion. They occur mostly commonly in the lower-legs and feet because these are weight-bearing bones. Stress fractures may be barely noticeable at first, but the swelling and pain will intensity as they worsen. Therefore, it is important to receive proper care and treatment to prevent the stress fracture from becoming more serious.

Stress fractures would not be caused through the fault of the nursing home, but the staff needs to be aware of the signs of stress fractures and be prepared for treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment of stress fractures is important, so the cracks do not worsen. Treatment includes reduced activity until the bone has a chance to heal.

Spontaneous or compression fractures are bone breaks that occur without trauma in what seem like normal bones. The spine and hips (bones that directly support your weight) are the bones most likely to be affected by spontaneous fractures. Older bones are more vulnerable to compression fractures because they lack the internal support structures to withstand impacts and pressure.

The primary cause of these fractures is osteoporosis, or just plain weak bones. A fracture of this sort can be caused simply by walking, so it is important to personalize individual walking plans for elderly residents according to their bone health, which can be determined by BMD (bone mineral density) tests.

These fractures often take place in the hips or spine. Treatment for a compression fracture can include surgery and a lengthy recovery and rehabilitation period.

Traumatic fractures are caused by an injury. This is often a simple fall. Elderly people are susceptible to dangerous falls because of poor balance and coordination, weakness, changes in gait, poor vision, illness, medications that cause sleepiness or dizziness. If the resident lost consciousness, this could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a heart attack or stroke.

A traumatic bone fracture could also be a sign of nursing home abuse or neglect.

After an accident or fall, nursing home staff members will examine the injured area to look for bone breaks, cuts, bruising, or other signs of injury. The staff should ask questions and investigate how the injury occurred. This investigation into the cause of the fall is very important to protect the resident and prevent future falls.

But you should also be involved in this investigation. If it appears that there are any irregularities in the fall, treatment, or investigation of a fracture, you will want to consult outside experts to see if the nursing home may be at fault, or if the injury was a natural occurrence.

The nursing home abuse attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP have decades of experience investigating and working with broken bones in nursing home patients. Please contact us by calling 1-800-297-9191 for a FREE consultation with an experienced Ohio nursing home abuse attorney or send us a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.

Please visit http://www.stopohionursinghomeabuse.com to learn even more about us and nursing home abuse and negligence in Ohio.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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