A nursing home injury is any form of physical, cognitive, psychosocial, or financial harm that a nursing home resident suffers. In many cases a nursing home injury is preventable and is, in whole or part, the result of nursing home malpractice. A nursing home injury which is caused by nursing home malpractice can be the result of intentional act(s) or negligence.
Nursing home professionals have a duty to provide a standard of care and quality of life to each patient under their care. When these duties are not fulfilled and a patient suffers a nursing home injury, the negligent nursing professional or facility can be held liable for resulting damages.
Nursing home injury cases caused by nursing malpractice are a widespread problem in the United States. In 2003, USA Today reported that half of all nursing home patients suffer from untreated pain. While this pain is not always a direct cause of nursing home abuse, nursing professionals do have a responsibility to treat any patient with a nursing home injury. Federal government studies have indicated that at least thirty percent of the nursing homes in our nation have committed some form of negligence or malice that has caused nursing home injury to patients.
In response to this widespread occurrence of nursing home injury cases attributable to malpractice, the federal government passed a comprehensive law in 1987 called the Federal Nursing Home Care Reform Act. This law created a minimum set of standards regarding the care and rights of people living in nursing home facilities. As a result of this law and the prevalence of nursing home injury cases, state agencies now conduct unannounced inspections and evaluations of nursing home facilities every nine to fifteen months.
State inspectors investigate nursing home injury cases as well as any cases of non-compliance with nursing home standards. The results of these inspections are considered public information as well as any nursing home injury cases which are further investigated or prosecuted. There are at least 150 standards through which nursing home facilities are evaluated as outlined by federal law.
The following are some signs that a resident is suffering a malpractice-related nursing home injury: bed or pressure sores, infections, dehydration, malnutrition, fractures, dislocations, slip and fall accidents, medication errors, inappropriate physical or chemical restraint, unhygienic living conditions, negligent supervision, inadequate staffing or training, financial exploitation, and any other form of physical, emotional, or mental abuse or neglect.
If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering a nursing home injury that is related to nursing home malpractice, you may wish to explore your legal rights and options. Please contact us to speak with an experienced attorney who can protect and maximize your legal interests.