Articles Posted in Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence

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For children, fractures, commonly known as broken bones, can heal very quickly, sometimes in weeks. Complications are relatively rare. For seniors in nursing homes, fractures and broken bones can be devastating and in some cases can be fatal. For adults who are 65 years of age and older, fractures can take months to recover from and in some cases these breaks never quite heal correctly. In addition, significant fractures, such as hip fractures, are associated with shortened life expectancy. It is not uncommon for a senior to suffer a significant fracture and then to pass away within a year or a few years. Complications are also far more common in seniors, especially for those who have pre-existing medical conditions.

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Unfortunately, fractures are also more of a concern for seniors. Medications as well as medical conditions can make them more prone to falling. Mobility issues, vision problems, and other concerns also make them more vulnerable to falls. Conditions such as osteoporosis can mean bones are weaker and therefore more likely to break, even without falls.

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Bed rails are often used in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to help those who are most vulnerable. Those who are bedridden or who have mobility issues may have bed rails on their beds to help them sit up and to provide added support as they move around. Bed rails also keep an elderly person from falling out of bed in the middle of the night and can help prevent falls as well as wandering.

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Unfortunately, bed rail injuries in nursing homes in Hollywood and across South Florida are surprisingly common. Many people don’t consider that something so simple can cause significant injury and even fatalities, but it can happen.

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Sepsis is caused by a complication to an injury. In this condition, the body fights an infection by releasing chemicals into the blood, only to have those chemicals cause an inflammatory reaction and then potential damage to organs or even organ failure. Often, sepsis begins with a rapid heart rate and high fever and can lead to septic shock or extremely low blood pressure which does not respond to treatment.

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Sepsis can be very serious or even fatal. It is especially dangerous for those who are already ill or who are elderly. Unfortunately, this type of complication can occur after medical treatment, especially surgeries, and in the cases of some infections. It is a serious cause of injuries in nursing homes in Hollywood and South Florida.

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The femur is the longest bone in the body, located in the thigh. Femur fractures are extremely serious. They can affect the entire lower part of the body. For seniors for living in Hollywood nursing homes, femur breaks are a concern, particularly in situations where a senior has osteoporosis or another condition which can make bones more fragile. In these instances, femur breaks can occur due to even simple falls.

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Femur fractures are dangerous for a few reasons. They can cause severe complications in an elderly patient. In addition, long-term fatality rates for patients who have had a femur breaks are higher. Someone who has had this type of fracture faces an increased risk of fatalities within a few years.

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Seniors are especially vulnerable to hip fractures, which can be a life-threatening injury. Hip injuries, including fractures, are most commonly caused by falls and by slip and fall accidents. Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are expected to take extra precautions to reduce the risk of falls to ensure that these types of injuries do not happen.

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If you have a family member who has suffered a hip fracture in a nursing home or other care environment, it is imperative that you ask questions. You want to ensure that your loved one gets proper medical attention which can save their life. You also want to ensure that it wasn’t negligence which caused the fracture. If recklessness played a role in the injury, you may wish to seek compensation to help your loved one get proper medical treatment.

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Collar bone fractures, also known as clavicle breaks, are quite rare in adults, and any collar bone break in a nursing home resident should be scrutinized carefully. It can be a red flag sign of abuse or physical assault. It can also indicate negligence or other wrongdoing which requires your immediate attention.

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Collar bone breaks also need immediate attention in any nursing home in Hollywood or southern Florida. These types of injuries take a long time to heal in residents who are 65 years of age or older. These types of fractures also have a high mortality rate and a high rate of complications. Seniors, especially those who are already ill due to other conditions, simply have a hard time recovering from this type of injury.

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A broken hand, for a resident of a nursing home in Hollywood or South Florida, represents a serious problem. Broken hands can affect a senior’s ability to dress themselves and to enjoy independence. A broken hand can also dramatically affect quality of life. For seniors, it can take longer to recover from a fracture in the hand and this type of injury can cause significant pain.

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For patients who have osteoporosis, a broken hand can occur due to a number of reasons. Even simple activities can lead to fractures. Nevertheless, it is important to evaluate whether the fracture was caused by the osteoporosis or by a preventable incident. Even if a senior has osteoporosis, they should be carefully supervised; it’s important to minimize the risk of fractures.

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A recent investigation by CNN has unveiled a number of questions surrounding the use of Nuedexta in nursing homes. Nuedexta is a drug approved by the FDA to treat PBA (pseudobulbar affect), a condition which causes sufferers to experience uncontrolled laughing or crying. Nuedexta use has increased 400% in the past four years in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, even though only about 1% of the overall population is affected by PBA, according to researchers.

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At one facility CNN investigated, about a quarter of residents were given Nuedexta. In that and other nursing homes, CNN investigators found that staff had been speaking to doctors and psychiatrists who were funded by Nuedexta’s manufacturer. In some cases, the psychiatrists and doctors issuing the medication were linked with Nuedexta’s manufacturer. Investigators suggested that the drug could be used to help control patients who were a challenge due to dementia and other disorders, but pointed out that there is no research suggesting how Nuedexta might impact the elderly or how it might work with patients who have dementia but not PBA. The drug has not been approved for those uses.

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There are many forms of nursing home neglect and abuse which can be seen in nursing homes in Hollywood and other parts of Florida. Unfortunately, over the past month we have seen the unfolding tragic events at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, where eleven residents have passed away after being left without air conditioning following Hurricane Irma.

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That matter is now under criminal investigation and it has left many families in Florida wondering whether their loved ones are safe in nursing homes. In Florida heat, air conditioning and cooling systems are a necessity, especially in nursing homes. Elderly residents may not have the mobility or ability to seek cooler temperatures for themselves. Some may not have the mobility to get cool glasses of water. At the same time, pre-existing medical conditions or medication side effects may make them more susceptible to heat-related conditions.

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Senior physical abuse can involve hitting, punching, slapping and other physical assault. Unfortunately, senior physical abuse is more common than many people realize in nursing home and caregiver situations. It can also be difficult to detect, especially since the elderly may have trouble articulating or may be afraid to speak up against their abusers.

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Physical abuse can happen for many reasons. In some cases, caregivers don’t have the support they need and take it out on their charges. In other reasons, unqualified caregivers are allowed to work with seniors, due to inadequate checks or screenings. In some cases, abusive caregivers even go into the profession because seniors, they feel, are more vulnerable and less likely to tell others about the abuse.

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