Although you’d like to believe that you’ve selected a reputable nursing home for your elderly loved one and they’re being properly cared for, this may not be the case. Many injuries to nursing home residents aren’t reported, leaving families unaware of what kind of situation their loved one is in.
Here’s what you should know about underreporting in nursing homes and how to get legal help if your loved one was a victim of nursing home negligence.
Why Do Nursing Homes Fail to Report Resident Injuries?
Often, nursing homes neglect to report injuries to residents because they do not believe the staff or the facility to be at fault. They fail to realize that all injuries must be documented, not just those that are clearly the fault of the nursing home. Other times, facilities simply choose not to report because they want to keep their numbers low.
What Injuries Are the Least Reported?
A public data analysis conducted by Integra Med Analytics and published in August of 2020 suggests that injuries to nursing home residents are significantly underreported. The three most commonly ignored injuries in U.S. nursing homes include:
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are painful sores on the skin and tissue underneath caused by putting pressure on an area of the body for an extended period of time. For example, when nursing home staff fail to turn immobile patients in their bed, they can begin to develop severe bedsores on bony areas of their body, like the tailbone, hips, and ankles or heels.
Pressure ulcers tend to go unreported because they are easy to hide and are clear indicators of neglect; patients who are properly cared for almost never develop bedsores. The Integra report suggests that over half of nursing homes underreport this injury.
Urinary Tract Infections
Another highly underreported injury in nursing homes are urinary tract infections (UTI). UTIs are more common among women than men and are more often than not related to inadequate care of the patient.
For example, immobile patients with a catheter that is not kept clean can easily contract a urinary tract infection and subsequently potentially a fatal kidney infection. Patients who are using incontinence products may not be changed frequently enough, creating the perfect environment for a UTI.
Many nursing homes also do not properly report falls in an effort to reduce the appearance of negligence on their part. Nursing homes have a responsibility to have a fall prevention plan in place for all patients and to take extra care with patients who are at a higher risk of falling or being injured from a fall. If your loved one has unexplained bruises or broken bones and the nursing home did not notify you of a fall, they may not be reporting.
Was Your Loved One Injured in a Nursing Home? Get Help Now
If your loved one was hurt in a nursing home, it may have been due to negligence or maltreatment from facility staff members. Nursing homes have a responsibility to their patients to provide adequate care based on each patient’s individual needs, however, due to understaffing and budget cuts, many nursing homes fail to meet their obligations towards patients. This often results in patients becoming injured or otherwise harmed by the carelessness or negligence of the facility.
Your family may be entitled to compensation. Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC for more information about your rights to pursue justice for a neglected loved one in a nursing home. Call now at (855) 693-9084 for your consultation.