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What can cause injuries in an Illinois nursing home?

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Mark L. Karno - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Mark L. Karno

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A broad array of situations can lead to serious injuries in a nursing home and, unfortunately, many of them can be directly tied back to negligence or inattention. A nursing home staff can act negligently in several ways. In addition to simply being short-staffed or poor training, injuries can be caused by simple inattention. For example, bedsores can be prevented by ensuring that a resident is being moved at regular intervals and dehydration can be prevented by ensuring that a patient is eating/drinking regularly. 

What types of accidents can occur in a nursing home?

In what can seem like a never-ending series of dangerous scenarios, nursing home residents can be seriously injured in numerous ways, including:

  • Slip-and-fall
  • Trip-and-fall
  • Bedrail entrapment
  • Bedsores
  • Fractures
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Wandering and elopement
  • Improper restraints
  • Medication errors
  • Transportation injuries 

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for nursing home negligence to become nursing home abuse. Residents can suffer at the hands of an abusive staff member in numerous ways, including:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Emotional abuse 

What are bedsores?

While it is a common injury, bedsores remain a dangerous, debilitating condition. Also called decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers, bedsores are a painful condition largely caused by inactivity. An elderly individual who is bedridden or who must spend long stretches in a wheelchair runs the risk of developing these pressure sores. 

A nursing home staff must remain diligent in turning or moving elderly patients as staying in one position for too long can cut off the blood supply to various parts of the body and result in injuries. There are four stages of bedsores defined by how deep the sores are. 

  • Stage one: At the mildest stage, bedsores only affect the upper layer of the skin. This stage is characterized by a discolored area on the skin that does not go away when rubbed.
  • Stage two: At stage two, the skin is typically broken leading to an open wound or a pus-filled blister. The skin can appear swollen, warm to the touch and red. These are painful sores.
  • Stage three: A stage three bedsore is serious enough to have reached through the layers of skin and into the fatty tissue beneath. Typically, the wound is large and may be accompanied by an odor, pus or other drainage. The tissue around the bedsore might be dying and will likely turn black.
  • Stage four: If a bedsore reaches stage four, the affected area will include the skin, subcutaneous tissue as well as the underlying muscles and ligaments. Individuals will suffer excruciating pain. Tissue will die off, and the victims will likely be able to see tendons, muscles and ligaments through a gaping wound. 

If you are concerned that your elderly loved one is suffering in the care of a negligent nursing home staff, it is important to act quickly. An experienced Illinois attorney can listen to the facts of your case, and provide the legal guidance and representation you need.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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