Many different types of injuries can be warning signs of nursing home abuse or neglect in San Bernardino County and throughout Southern California. Burn injuries are one type of injury that can signal physical abuse or passive neglect, depending upon the burn injury and how the nursing home resident sustained it. While burn injuries may not be quite as common as certain other types of harm reported in nursing homes (such as bed sores, for example), burn injuries do occur, and the facility and other parties could be liable. Our San Bernardino nursing home neglect attorneys can tell you more about elderly burn injuries and how they can be symptoms of abuse or neglect in Southern California nursing facilities.
Learning More About Burn Injuries in the Elderly
Older adults in nursing homes can be more susceptible to burn injuries, and burn injuries can be more problematic in older patients, as well. Indeed, as Wolters Kluwer underscores, “older adults are more prone to burn injury and are also more likely to develop complications after the injury.” In addition, “treatment outcomes are overall worse for older compared with younger adults,” and “the incidence of burn injuries in older adults is increasing.” In addition to physical harm, burn injuries can also have psychological consequences, and it can be difficult for older adults to recover from serious burn injuries.
Why are older adults more susceptible to burn injuries? According to a study in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, elderly nursing home residents may be more susceptible to serious burn injuries in general as a result of the following:
- Forms of dementia and cognitive decline;
- Sensory impairment;
- Poor mobility;
- Slower reaction times; and
- Side effects of medications.
Causes of Burn Injuries in Nursing Homes
What are some of the most common causes of burn injuries in nursing homes? Burn injuries can result from a nursing home employee engaging in intentional physical abuse against a nursing home resident (such as intentionally burning a nursing home resident with a lighter or a cigarette), as well as from passive neglect (like failing to properly monitor a nursing home resident who is using a tea kettle). The following are all examples of causes of burn injuries for which a nursing home could potentially be liable:
- Food is too hot to serve;
- Resident inadequately monitored while using kitchen or other appliances that may cause burn injuries;
- Resident inadequately monitored while bathing or running a hot bath;
- Resident inadequately monitored while eating;
- Staff member intentionally burns a resident to cause harm;
- Resident inadequately monitored while walking in an area where tripping and falling onto a radiator is possible;
- Nursing home fails to repair flooring that is a slipping or tripping hazard near hot radiators or other hot objects that could cause burn injuries; or
- Nursing home has been negligent in addressing fire hazards and fire safety in the facility.
As the Journal of Emergency Medicine emphasizes, the elderly population continues to rise, which means that burn injury incidents are also likely to increase. As such, it is important to look for signs of burn injuries if you have an older family member in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Contact a San Bernardino Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you have concerns about burn injuries or any other type of harm in a nursing home or assisted-living facility in Southern California, an experienced San Bernardino nursing home abuse attorney at our firm can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm today.
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