Hip fractures are one of the most common types of injuries in the older population, especially the elderly. Residents of nursing homes in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area who suffer hip fractures are often at risk of severe limitations in physical function.
There has been a great deal of medical research into the problem of hip fractures for older adults. Many studies have found that women are especially at risk of hip fractures. In addition, studies have found that pre-existing health conditions increase the risk of death following a hip fracture.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that hip fractures were predominant in women. In fact a whopping 82% of the study’s participants were women. More importantly, the study found that 40% of the participants with hip fractures were readmitted to a hospital within 6 months. See Hospital Readmissions after Hospital Discharge for Hip Fracture: Surgical and Nonsurgical Causes and Effect on Outcomes, J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 2003.
A more recent study found that hip fractures which require surgery often result in death. Out of the study’s over 2,000 participants, roughly 10% died within 30 days and 33% died at one year. See Effect of comorbidities and postoperative complications on mortality after hip fracture in elderly people: prospective observational cohort study, BMJ 2005.
One explanation for the mortality rate following hip fractures in the elderly is the sudden decrease in mobility. Overall well-being for elderly residents is often affected drastically by sudden, unexpected immobility. Hip fractures, whether they result in surgery or not, require several weeks if not months of immobility. An elderly nursing home resident who falls and breaks their hip may be bed-ridden or confined to a wheelchair for several months. During that period, the individual’s health may decline. Medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can become worse. Basically, the hip fracture can lead to further complications.
Hip fractures often result from fall accidents. Even a non-serious fall accident can result in a hip fracture for a nursing home resident. For instance, a nursing home resident who falls out of bed or falls in the bathtub may suffer a hip fracture. Bone weakness which increases in advanced stages of life is often responsible for hip fractures.
In many nursing home hip fracture situations, nursing homes and the companies which own and operate them may be held liable for negligence. The success of a negligence lawsuit against a nursing home for a fall accident depends on the extent of the evidence. There must be sufficient evidence that the nursing home had notice of the problem or dangerous condition which led to the accident. For instance, a nursing home resident slips or trips and falls due to a defective condition of the floor. In order to succeed in the lawsuit against the nursing home, there must be evidence that a nursing home employee either 1. had previous, direct knowledge of the defect, or 2. was unreasonable in failing to discover the condition.
An injured nursing home resident may be able to obtain fair and reasonable financial compensation for the following:
- medical bills (past and future),
- lost wages (if applicable), and
- pain and suffering.
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