1,000 Elderly Nursing Home Patients Die From Falls Each Year in the United States
According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, approximately 1,000 elderly nursing home patients die each year from falls. Residents who fall but survive often are left with permanent disabilities and reduced quality of life, which both contribute to premature death.
In 2015, two elderly nursing home residents died after preventable falls at Beaumont Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (BRSNC) in Westboro in which the facility was found to have been negligent according to the State’s investigation.
Needless Suffering and Wrongful Death: A Tragic Example of Nursing Home Negligence
In August 2015, an 89-year-old Westminster woman, “Mrs. Crane,” with dementia and a history of falls, died from injuries suffered in a fall at BRSNC. To aid in preventing falls, the resident’s chair had an alarm that notified staff if she got up; however, a nurse forgot to turn on the alarm on the resident’s chair when she left Mrs. Crane alone in her room.
On July 29, 2015, Mrs. Crane got up from her chair and fell. Staff found her on the floor about an hour later lying on the floor with the head injury.
Mrs. Crane was “cognitively impaired … required assistance for bathing, dressing and transfers and had a history of falls…” Because she had problems with falling she had a care plan that included having an alarm on her bed and chair to alert staff when she got up.
According to state reports, the nursing home staff did not notify her physician or a nurse practitioner of a change in her condition due to the fall, as was required, nor did they treat her for the head wound and head pain.
State reports noted that Mrs. Crane “complained of head (pain) two hours after being found on the floor.” Mrs. Crane continued to complain of head pain for the next eleven hours but her injury was not reported to a physician or a nurse practitioner. During this time she received no treatment for her pain or injuries.
Mrs. Crane passed on August 7, due to complications from head injuries sustained in her fall.
A Second Death at the Same Facility
In September 2015, at the same facility, a male resident suffering from dementia died after falling down a flight of stairs in his wheelchair. The accident occurred only days after a nurse cut off an electronic tracking system on his leg because it was too tight. A physician had ordered the device to monitor the safety of the patient. The man died four days later due to blunt force trauma from his fall.
Why You Need a Lawyer If Your Loved One Was Injured in a Nursing Home Fall
If your loved one suffered a fatal fall at a nursing home or long-term care facility, don’t take the nursing home’s story as the full story.
What happened to Mrs. Crane is an horrific example of nursing home negligence that led to her tragic death. However, the family was not even made aware of the nursing home’s negligence until a reporter offered details from public records surrounding Mrs. Crane’s death many months later:
Family members of Mrs. Crane and Mr. Walsh declined to comment for this story. Mrs. Crane’s daughters, who live in Worcester County, said their mother’s sudden death is still too painful to discuss. They were not aware of the circumstances around their mother’s death until a reporter told them.
— Elaine Thompson, Telegram Staff Writer
If your loved one died because of a fall that you believe happened because of the nursing home facility’s failure to implement fall-related protocol or because of the facility’s general negligence, contact our law firm today to schedule you free, no-obligation legal consultation.
With over 35 years of legal experience, we can help you explore options that may be available to you because of your injury.
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