Failure to Diagnose and Treat Nursing Home Injuries
In today’s world, where more and more people are living longer, and the demand for nursing home care continues to rise, the risk of injury to nursing home residents has become a serious issue. Many nursing homes are understaffed, or have employees who lack adequate skills or training. A resident can suffer a serious injury that may not be noticed by caregivers, resulting in unnecessary pain and suffering, complications, and even an early death.
Failure to Diagnose a Nursing Home Injury
The failure to diagnose a nursing home injury can stem from a variety of reasons:
- The nursing home may not have adequate staffing—The residents in a nursing home often need regular monitoring and care to either minimize the risk of injury, or to quickly respond to injury. Understaffing can lead to serious problems. An aide may neglect to put up rails or other safety devices. They may not be able to.
- The nursing home may have inadequate procedures for identifying injury or illness—Many residents in nursing homes are either incapable of communicating the nature of an injury, or unwilling to make an issue of an injury. Without proper procedures in place, a resident may be able to mask an injury for a significant period of time.
- The nursing home may have poorly trained employees, or employees who lack the skills to diagnose an injury or illness—An employee may lack the skills to recognize different types of conditions, such as bed sores, infections or the signs of dehydration or malnutrition.
- A caregiver may try to play down a serious injury to protect themselves—If a caregiver believes that they may get in trouble if an injury is discovered, they may attempt to persuade the resident that the injury is not serious, or does not need further attention.
Negligence in Treating a Nursing Home Injury
Once an injury has been diagnosed, a nursing home employee may still be careless in treating it. The employee may neglect to seek the appropriate medical care for the resident, or to bring in a nurse or doctor, when called for. If medication is prescribed because of the injury or illness, the failure to monitor the resident’s dosage, and to make certain that proper medications are taken at the right times can also be the basis for a personal injury claim.