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Phoenix Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Representing Seniors with Broken Bones
Aggressive representation when residents of Arizona nursing homes suffer fractures
As we age, our bones become more brittle, making them more susceptible to breaking when falls and other accidents occur. Broken bones become even harder to manage for the elderly because the bones need more time to heal. Nursing homes in Phoenix need to anticipate the reasons their residents may suffer broken bones and must understand how to care for residents who do suffer fractures. Many seniors with broken bones are already living with other health disorders. Broken bones are often preventable. Competent medical care is mandatory.
Nursing homes in Arizona should anticipate why residents may suffer broken bones. In addition to falls, a common cause of broken bones is physical abuse. Nursing homes should have safety procedures in place to prevent falls, stop abuse, and treat these serious injuries. At Garcia & Artigliere, our Arizona nursing home abuse and neglect lawyershave more than 150+ years of experience fighting for the elderly. We are skilled at showing nursing homes failed to follow federal and state laws, nursing home standards, and reasonable safety measures to prevent and treat broken bones.
Our Phoenix attorneys are respected nationwide for their skills in preparing elder abuse claims, negotiating insurance claims with adjusters, and arguing cases in court. As one example, founding partner Stephen M. Garcia helped obtain $1.3 million for a nursing home resident who suffered a broken hip.
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How can we help?
- How common are broken bones among the elderly?
- Why do nursing home residents suffer broken bones?
- How do bones break?
- What are the treatments for fractures in Phoenix?
- What complications can arise if a nursing home resident breaks a bone?
- How do you show that a nursing home in Arizona is responsible for a broken bone?
- What is the value of a broken bone claim against a nursing home in Arizona?
- Do you have a nursing home abuse lawyer near me?
How common are broken bones among the elderly?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that nearly 36 million seniors fall every year. Thirty-two thousand of those falls are deadly. Nearly three million seniors seek emergency room healthcare yearly. Falls can cause fractures, head trauma, and other injuries. The most common type of fracture is a broken hip. About 300, 000 seniors are hospitalized yearly for a broken hip – and the large majority of the people who have a broken hip are female.
Why do nursing home residents suffer broken bones?
Seniors are the age group most prone to broken bones. Most Phoenix nursing homes are seniors. Some of the common causes of broken falls are:
- Mobility problems. Many residents of nursing homes in Phoenix already have difficulty walking and getting into and out of bed, chairs, and other objects. Many of these residents already use canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. Falls that cause broken bones are quite common among seniors with mobility difficulties.
- Osteoporosis. This condition, according to the Cleveland Clinic, weakens a resident’s bones, increasing the risk a bone will break. The hips, wrist, and spine are the bones most likely to break due to osteoporosis.
- Muscle weakness. Residents with weak leg muscles have an increased risk of losing their balance and having poor coordination, both of which can cause a fall.
- Medications. Some medications, such as sedatives, may cause dizziness or fatigue which can affect a resident’s balance. The nursing home staff should know the proper dosage and be extra attentive if there is any change in the medications prescribed.
- Debris, clutter, and other nursing home hazards. Phoenix nursing homes need to regularly look for any objects or conditions that can increase the possibility of falling, such as objects on the floors, narrow passageways, unstable railings, and slippery surfaces.
Other health conditions that increase the risk of falling according to the National Institutes of Health are:
- Diabetes, cardiology problems, and other diseases
- Poor vision, hearing, and reflexes
- Bowel and bladder disorders, especially disorders that make a resident feel like they have to rush to get to the bathroom.
- Cognitive impairments
- Heel and foot disorders
Nursing homes should run background checks and respond to any complaints that indicate an employee may physically abuse a resident. Punches, kicks, physical restraints, and other forceful measures can cause a resident to break a bone.
How do bones break?
Any of the 206 bones in the human body can break. Hip, arm, leg, and shoulder fractures are the most common types of fractures among the elderly. According to Dignity Health in Arizona, the different types of fractures include:
- Stressor “hairline” fracture. The bone breaks but not completely.
- Stable fracture. The pieces of the bone “line up or are barely out of place.”
- Displaced fracture. The pieces of the bone do not line up and are out of place.
- Complete fracture. A bone breaks into two pieces.
- Transverse fracture. This fracture is a horizontal break across the bone.
- Oblique fracture. This fracture is an angled break across the bone.
- Comminuted fracture. Here, the bone breaks into three or more pieces or is crushed.
- Compound, or “open” fracture. This fracture involves breaking the skin.
Broken bones among nursing home residents who have cognitive impairments are especially difficult to manage and treat because the resident can’t communicate about how the break occurred and how they feel.
What are the treatments for fractures in Phoenix?
The treatments for fractures vary depending on which bone broke, the type of break, and the severity of the break.
Common treatments for fractures according to Dignity Health include:
- Cast immobilization. This treatment, the most common, uses a plaster or fiberglass cast.
- External fixation. This treatment is a surgery that places “metal pins or screws in the pieces of bone. The pins or screws connect to a metal bar on the outside of the skin. This fixation system holds the pieces of bone in place while they heal.”
- Open reduction and internal fixation. This surgical treatment “repositions the bone pieces and holds them together with metal pins, screws, or plates on the surface of the bone.”
In some cases, traction, bone grafts, and joint replacements may be required.
Generally, the elderly need much more time to heal than younger people.
What complications can arise if a nursing home resident breaks a bone?
Phoenix nursing homes need to be aware of the possible complications of broken bones, which include the failure of blood to reach the tissue which can cause nerve and muscle damage, problems when the bones fail to line up correctly or grow back properly, infections such as sepsis, and damage to tendons, blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and nerves around the bone.
How do you show that a nursing home in Arizona is responsible for a broken bone?
At Garcia & Artigliere, our Phoenix nursing home broken bone lawyers are skilled at showing how the broken bone happened and how the facility should have prevented or treated the break. Nursing home neglect that causes fractures includes:
- Failing to assess the risks of falls in the nursing home and failing to remove or minimize those risks
- Not having fall prevention strategies
- Not vetting the staff for concerns they may physically abuse a resident
- Not ensuring that there are proper checks on the people who visit any resident
- Failing to investigate any reports of abuse
- Failing to arrange for emergency medical transport to a local hospital in the event of a fall or physical abuse
- Not examining the resident’s medications for any balance or fall risk factors
- Not having enough staff
- Failing to prepare an individualized care plan for each resident
The nursing home should be checked regularly for any clutter, debris, or other safety risks. Physical restraints should never be used without a definite medical reason.
Nursing home staff should directly assist any residents who have mobility or balance problems.
What is the value of a broken bone claim against a nursing home in Arizona?
At Garcia & Artigliere, our Phoenix nursing home neglect lawyers understand how traumatic broken bones are – especially because most residents are already coping with other health disorders. We work with orthopedists, pain management doctors, and other physicians who can explain what treatments are necessary and what type of life the resident can expect to have after the fracture happens.
Our lawyers demand that neglectful nursing homes pay for the resident’s:
- Medical bills
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Loss of functionality of any body part
- Loss of quality of life
- Any financial damages
We seek punitive damages if the fracture was due to abuse that a nursing home should have prevented.
We also file wrongful death claims if a parent, spouse, or other close relative died due to fracture complications.