Fall prevention in San Bernardino County nursing homes is critical to avoid serious injuries among elderly residents. Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have a duty to ensure that patients have the care they need to avoid a fall and that the premises are also safe for use. When a fall does happen at a San Bernardino nursing home, the facility could be liable.
Learning More About Falls in Nursing Homes
To understand prevention methods for falls in nursing homes, it is important to understand how often falls occur and why they happen in nursing homes. The following facts and figures come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Approximately 36 million falls affect older adults annually;
- Falls cause approximately 32,000 deaths among seniors every year;
- Around 3 million older adults require treatment in emergency departments each year for injuries sustained in a fall;
- About 20% of falls among seniors result in a serious injury like head trauma or a bone fracture; and
- Around 300,000 seniors must be hospitalized annually for hip fractures caused by falls.
Facilities Must Take Steps to Prevent and Treat Nursing Home Falls and Senior Injuries
Nursing homes in San Bernardino County have a duty to take steps to prevent falls so that senior residents avoid injuries. Many different types of injuries can result from falls, including hip fractures and other types of bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries, bruises, cuts, sprains, and strains. In addition to ensuring that the premises are safe for residents, nursing homes should also have a plan in place to ensure that seniors receive proper treatment when they do fall. The first step in fall prevention is to make certain that the premises are safe by taking actions such as:
- Repairing all torn or loose carpeting;
- Installing carpets and gripping materials on slick floors;
- Fixing or installing handrails on all staircases, and in any areas where a fall might be likely to occur;
- Ensuring that all lighting is bright and that any dark areas have lighting installed;
- Having a plan in place to clean up liquid spills as quickly as possible; and
- Installing assist bars in bathrooms and throughout living areas where slips, trips, or falls may be likely.
In addition to making the premises as safe as possible, nursing homes have a duty to have a plan in place to treat seniors who do fall and to take action to ensure that they do not fall again. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the following is a proper fall response protocol:
- Nursing home resident should be monitored for 72 hours following a fall, and the facility should develop a plan of care for the resident;
- Fall circumstances should be investigated, and any problems should be recorded and remedied;
- Primary care provider should be alerted to the senior’s fall;
- Senior should be treated within 24 hours if there are signs of a serious injury; and
- Facility should complete a fall assessment.
Contact Our San Bernardino County Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers
If you have an elderly loved one who got hurt in a fall at a nursing home, or if you have questions about filing a nursing home neglect claim, an experienced San Bernardino nursing home negligence attorney can speak with you today about your case. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.
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