Fractured Hips Can Be a Death Sentence to Nursing Home Residents

Date: July 10, 2014
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A common injury of the elderly in Nursing Homes when they fall is a fractured hip. To the young and healthy, a fractured hip can mean surgery and rehabilitation, to the infirmed in a Nursing Home, a fractured hip means a life time of complete immobility or sadly death. In many cases, half of nursing home residents that have fractured their hip either die or become completely immobile. Multiple recent studies have confirmed the devastating effect a fractured hip can have upon the elderly, especially those living in a long term care facility.

This startling statistic stems from a recent study following 60,000 nursing home residents hospitalized due to a fractured hip by the University of Pennsylvania. The study showed that within six months of the fracture 1/3 of the residents died, with 28% of the remaining residents remaining immobile. Extending the study to one year should 50% of the residents had died. This is in stark contrast to the statistic of 20% of elderly people who were not residents of a nursing home would die within one year of a fractured hip.

Families of nursing home residents should know that in the event of a hip fracture, many residents do not return to their pre-fracture health state, said Dr. Sarah Berry of the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged in Roslindale, Massachusetts. About 20 percent of the elderly who live outside of a nursing home will die within one year after a hip fracture as compared with nearly half of nursing home residents, Berry told Reuters Health in an email.

This study shows that falls in a nursing home can become a death sentence to many residents who fracture their hip. Falls can occur in nursing homes for many reasons, including understaffing, unqualified staff, failure to conduct a proper assessment, failure to put in place appropriate care plans, and finally failure to follow the care plans actually put in place. These are the issues that our elderly, and their family, face on a daily basis.

If you suspect that you or someone you love has suffered an adverse event from improper care at a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, don’t wait to take action. You have rights; there is no reason to tolerate such despicable behavior. Call an attorney today.

Attorney Sean McDonough has been a partner with Dougherty, Leventhal and Price for over twenty years. He specializes in personal injury cases, emphasizing, nursing home abuse cases. His experience with nursing home abuse cases provided him the opportunity to present expert witness testimony in a Congressional Hearing addressing the issue of sexual abuse in nursing homes in 2008. Allow Attorney McDonough to be a part of the solution. Don’t wait any longer call DLP today and schedule your meeting with Sean McDonough.

All information was gathered from the article tilted Death or Immobility Often Follows Hip fractures in Nursing Homes by Kathryn Doyle. For more information please view the article at http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/24/us-nursing-home-hip-fracture-idUSKBN0EZ29C20140624.

Sean McDonough
Upon graduation from law school, he entered the private practice of law with Dougherty, Leventhal & Price. He has been a partner with the firm since 1993. Over the years, Sean has concentrated his practice in the areas of personal injury litigation; he has also represented governmental entities and officials in federal civil rights and employment lawsuits. Sean also works on many of DLP's Nursing Home Abuse cases.