Broken and Fractured Bones in Colorado Nursing Homes

Elderly or disabled patients may require assistance moving — whether it be from their bed to the bathroom, walking around the nursing home facility, or even shifting positions in bed.

However, when negligent caregivers fail to properly assist patients, the patients can suffer broken and fractured bones from falls or even sudden movements.

Attorney Mac Hester, leading Nursing Home Justice, can help your family hold the liable party accountable. Your Denver nursing home injury lawyer will tirelessly advocate for your right to maximum compensation for your suffering. Contact Nursing Home Justice at (303) 775-8128 to get started on your case.

How Prevalent Are Broken Bones in Nursing Homes?

Broken and fractured bones are among many nursing home injuries and a significant cause for concern across the United States.

Bone fractures are prevalent with elderly residents, as they may suffer from decreased muscle mass and osteoporosis.

Studies have shown that as much as one out of every four Americans older than 65 will suffer a fall annually.

The odds of a bone break or fracture are exceptionally high. Almost 90% of the bone breaks and fractures of those 65 years of age or older were caused by fall accidents.

What Are Common Areas for Broken Bones?

Common areas for broken bones in nursing home residents include:

  • Hand breaks and fractures
  • Broken and fractured thighs
  • Fractures of the vertebrae in the back
  • Arm breaks and fractures
  • Broken and fractured pelvic bones
  • Broken and fractured hips
  • Broken or fractured feet

Some of these bone breaks and fractures may be more common than others. However, in nursing homes, it is particularly important to determine the cause of the break or fracture because it could indicate abuse.

When Can Residents Suffer Broken Bones?

There are virtually endless ways these broken bone accidents can occur, including:

  • Complications involving lifting patients – Negligent or inexperienced caregivers may not understand how to properly lift patients. This lack of understanding results in residents suffering broken bones from being dropped.
  • Clutter in a resident’s room – Residents’ rooms should be clear of any debris or clutter that could cause them to trip and break a bone.
  • Failure to diagnose osteoporosis or other bone diseases – Failure to diagnose a medical condition, delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and other medical mistakes could put residents at a higher risk for breaks.
  • Physical abuse – When nursing home staff physically abuse patients, they can cause severe broken and fractured bones, and other critical injuries.
  • Slip and fall accidents – Unattended residents with poor mobility could easily trip and fall, resulting in severe breaks.
  • Failure to secure patients – When caregivers fail to properly secure patients in beds, wheelchairs, or other areas, residents could fall and suffer broken or fractured bones.

Who’s Most at Risk for Breaking Bones?

In nursing home facilities, some parties are at a greater risk of suffering broken bones than others.

Generally, you might assume that someone age 65 or older might be at a greater risk for breaking bones.

However, age does not necessarily determine risk. Some of the risk factors for fractured and broken bones in nursing home facilities include:

  • A history of Parkinson’s disease, dementia, or other cognitive disabilities
  • History of fractures, breaks, or falls
  • A history of dizziness or vertigo
  • Partial or total blindness
  • Having difficulty rising from a sitting position
  • Lack of toes
  • A history of osteoporosis or bone cancer
  • A history of passing out

What Happens if Broken Bones Are Neglected?

Untreated broken bones can cause further injury or illness. If the injury lacks adequate stability, the bone will not heal — and pain, tenderness, and swelling will continue. If the injury is delayed in being stabilized, the fracture will take longer to heal.

The opportunity to make a full recovery will vary depending on how the bone has been set and whether additional complications are present.

While bones may attempt to heal, if they are separated, partially connected, or completely split, they may not heal properly.

Factors That Prevent Bones from Healing

Complications that could impact a bone’s ability to heal correctly include:

  • Smoking
  • Anemia
  • Certain medications, including anti-inflammatories
  • Old age
  • Diabetes
  • Having low Vitamin D

Who’s Liable for Broken Bones?

Establishing liability is crucial if you or someone you love has suffered a broken bone in a nursing home facility.

Although nursing homes and their staff may claim that high-risk residents are more susceptible to broken bones, a quality nursing home staff should be aware of these risks and take the proper care to avoid unnecessarily harming patients.

Understaffed Nursing Homes

Understaffed nursing homes cannot properly care for numerous patients. At-risk residents with poor mobility could go hours or days unattended — increasing the chance for falls.

When a the fall occurs, the injured resident could be unattended for a long period of time before staff members discover the injury, resulting in deterioration of health and a more severe debilitating condition.

Inexperienced Staff

Older residents require gentle care when being transported around the facility. Staff must be trained to properly lift residents and perform other tasks that assist with their mobility.

When staff members lack this experience, they could drop patients or fail to secure them properly in their wheelchairs or beds.

What Compensation Can You Recover?

Nursing home residents who suffer broken and fractured bones have the right to be compensated for every single way their lives have been affected by their injuries.

You have the right to recover economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are financial and could include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Costs of prescription medications
  • Relocation expenses
  • Healthcare provider fees
  • Financial losses
  • Property damages

Broken and fractured bones have also been known to result in death if left untreated.

Wrongful Death

If you lost a loved one due to a nursing home injury, your family might be entitled to financial compensation for:

  • Loss of financial support
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Grief
  • Loss of companionship.