Recently, Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA’s own Meghan Connolly gave a talk on the issue of nursing home red flags. With years of experience in nursing home injury cases, Meghan has seen firsthand the dangers that our nursing home residents encounter in poorly run facilities. Below we offer Meghan’s perspective on the potential for injury in a nursing home. Check back for Part Two, in which Meghan discusses what you should do if your loved one must be admitted to a nursing home, or has suffered as the result of nursing home negligence.
Nursing Home Injury: Prevalent but Preventable
Because about 40% of people over the age of 65 will spend time in a nursing home, education about how to choose a nursing home facility should be a high public priority. But the reality is that choosing a nursing home is a decision that is often made very quickly, under stressful conditions, and with very limited information. In many cases, following a loved one’s acute care or surgery, a family will merely be handed a list of the facilities in the area and they will pick one with little investigation based on proximity.
Unfortunately, this leads to poor outcomes for nursing home patients and keeps the bad facilities in business. A recent study indicates that 1 in 3 patients in a skilled facility suffer a medication error, infection or other harm related to their treatment, and a full 59% of those errors are preventable. Quality of care is more of a problem in these facilities than in almost any other area of health care, but the purveyors of the problem—irresponsible nursing homes—stay in business because the public does not know how to recognize the red flags.
The negligence of a nursing home and its employees can cause a wide variety of significant personal injuries. The nursing home injury attorneys at Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA help many clients receive compensation in cases where neglect or incompetence harmed a resident. Typically, these cases involve injuries due to bed sore sepsis, falls and fractures, medication errors, and assault (both at the hands of other unrestrained residents and at the hands of facility staff). And again, as if these injuries were not shocking enough, 40% of nursing home residents’ emergency room visits are potentially preventable.
With nearly 1 in 3 U.S. nursing homes cited for violations of federal standards that caused, or had the potential to cause, harm to residents, it is of utmost importance that we, the family members, take the time to investigate the nursing homes before we put our loved ones’ lives in their hands.
If you or a loved one have suffered a nursing home injury, contact the experienced Cleveland, Ohio nursing home negligence lawyers at Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA to discuss your case.