A Tampa nursing home negligence attorney understands that broken bones are some of the worst injuries that any individual can suffer, and this is especially true for elderly individuals with deteriorating bone conditions. Even the elderly with no apparent medical bone disorder will still experience a reduction in bone density as they age, leaving bones in a fragile and vulnerable condition. Broken bones have led to the death of many senior citizens with reduced mobility while recovering, often developing other serious medical conditions such as pneumonia. Many broken bone sufferers are the victims of falls that occur for a variety of reasons, including generally unacceptable housekeeping such as failing to partition a wet floor. Aging individuals who are residents of a professional nursing facility are clearly the most susceptible to injury due to improper handling. The reason for this potential from a treatment perspective is that many times these supposedly professional care operations are anything but professional when the actual staffing is not qualified or trained in the proper handling of patients with brittle bone density.
Types of Broken Bones
There are three primary types of broken bones that a Tampa nursing home negligence attorney commonly represents, with determination being based on the severity of the injury and prognosis for recovery. Some broken bones will require surgical repair, often requiring metal rod installation, while others will heal over time when the injured person is physically able to heal normally. Older individuals regularly require longer healing periods, meaning longer periods of immobility in many cases if the broken bones are in the lower body or back.
Stress Fractures A stress fracture is essentially a chip or crack in a bone that does not create bone displacement. Many times the bone cracks for varying medical reasons, but the most usual condition is osteoporosis on some level. Osteoporosis is a disorder that begins slow and worsens over time when patient calcium levels are reduced. Calcium levels in the body must be kept in an acceptable range for proper bone health. When stress fractures occur in the lower body, as is most common, the patient’s ability to move can be severely limited. Sometimes the injured patient is confined to a wheelchair, but multiple or serious stress fractures may result in the patient being bedridden just as with more serious broken bones.
Compression fractures can occur at any time for any reason because they often happen while the patient is stationary. Deteriorating bones commonly snap under weight pressure, especially when the patient suffers from obesity or similar weight conditions. Compression fractures are very common for individuals who have osteoporosis and can occur while simply walking in many cases, without any kind of fall.
Traumatic fractures are the most serious type of broken bone and normally result in some sort of surgery. Depending on the patient, multiple broken bones can be very serious because they have a tendency to impact each other in elderly nursing home patients. In most cases, traumatic broken bones occur when an individual falls and experiences a serious compound injury. Of course, improper handling of patients with multiple or compound bone breakage can also result in other medical problems, so the nursing facility should make treatment of these serious broken bones a top priority. Too often, this is not the case.
Extenuating Medical Conditions Stemming from Broken Bones
A Tampa nursing home negligence lawyer knows that broken bones are problematic enough on their own merit, but many times the broken bone is only the beginning of what can result in much more serious issues. While immobility limits the ability to breath deeply and properly, there are also potential medical problems that can occur that do not necessarily stem from viral infections. Staph infections are common in a nursing home, many times resulting from contact between the patients and the staff handling those multiple patients. Studies have show that the staff actual transports more germs in a nursing facility than any other factor. The professional training of the nurses and supervisors in the nursing home can be a major factor in the overall sanitation measures implemented by the treatment and housekeeping regimen.
Physical Damage from Skin Ulcers
Commonly called a bed sore, this injury is actually an external ulcer that develops when a patient has not received the proper bathing and turning procedures necessary to prevent the development of skin diseases. Oxygen is the key to keeping a broken bone patient from developing skin ulcers, and the skin is deprived of proper oxygen contact when they are not turned or cleaned in a professional manner. This normally occurs when facilities are understaffed and lack proper professionally trained treatment employees. Doctors instructions can get overlooked or compromised when there are not enough nurses who understand the seriousness of treating a patient with a broken bone. Bed sores are the most common physical damage potential resulting from improper treatment and handling of an immobile patient, regardless of bone injuries. However, those with broken bones may be the most susceptible because they can rarely assist in any movement situation and are often left unattended by the staff for extended periods of time on a regular basis. An experienced and effective Tampa nursing home attorney will investigate any broken bone case for subsequent bed sores when crafting a case.
Nursing Home Injury Investigation
Nursing homes are required to conduct an investigation and file an injury report whenever a broken bone injury occurs within the facility. Just as with other industries, many times the investigations are conducted in a manner that is focused on eliminating any responsibility for the treatment facility, and potentially protecting the facility medical malpractice insurance provider. Information can be vague at best, and an experienced and effective Tampa nursing home negligence attorney will understand this in-house protection policy. Nursing homes regularly prepare a defense before an injury claim is even filed. The facts in the internal report may only list those directly related to an accident or injury, and do not address reasonable or required preventative measures that the nursing home failed to provide or implement. This failure in a reasonable duty of care on the part of the facility is exactly where your attorney will focus his professional investigation on what actually transpired and how the injury actually came about. These investigation results can include facility failure to meet professional standards, in addition to being cited by local and state health officials for unacceptable conditions and treatment protocol.
Contact a Tampa Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
It is very important for any Florida resident who has a loved one or close friend who may be a victim of negligent medical treatment to contact a Tampa nursing home negligence attorney like the nursing home litigation professionals at Giroux & Associates at any of their locations in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, or Tampa for a full free evaluation of a potential legal claim arising from any unethical or improper handling of a resident, including circumstances resulting from broken bones. They focus legal practice solely on nursing home negligence and can be contacted at (727) 895-5399, (941)746-0999, or (813)221-9499.