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Uptick in traumatic facial injuries linked to nursing home falls

Other than infants, the elderly and disabled are the most vulnerable patients. Because of this, hospitals and nursing homes must take special precautions to protect them from getting injured.

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association puts the onus on nursing home facilities that don't have stringent fall prevention policies in place. This is a very serious situation because some nursing home patients are suffering traumatic facial injuries in these falls.

Researchers looked at statistics put out by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System that totaled the number of falls that resulted in facial trauma. The demographic group studied was nursing home residents age 61 or older.

Numbers don't lie

There were 109,795 residents who had to be treated in emergency rooms for the trauma they suffered to their faces. The most vulnerable group was older female residents, whose risks rose with age.

Lacerations were the most frequently-treated injuries, at over 44 percent, with additional soft-tissue injuries in second place with nearly 42 percent requiring treatment. Broken bones resulted in more than 12 percent of the incidents.

Orbital fractures and broken noses topped the list. Patients were injured most often by striking or colliding with walls or furniture. Getting into and out of their beds proved challenging, as 25 percent of residents suffered trauma then.

Never events far too common

Nursing homes consider any "[p]atient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a health care setting" to be a "never event." What that misnomer means is that these are preventable occurrences.

No disabled or elderly person should be neglected and wind up with traumatic facial injuries. Learn more about your injured loved one's rights to financial recovery through the civil court system in Ohio.

Source: Findlaw, "Traumatic Facial Injuries Common in Nursing Home Residents, Study Finds," Christopher Coble, Esq., accessed July 28, 2017

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