According to the New York Times, accidental poisonings and overdoses kill more people every year than car crashes. Falls are also affecting more people due to an aging population. The reality is that many of these accidents could have been easily preventable. According to the National Safety Council, one American dies due to an accident every four minutes, and one American is injured in an accident every second.
Prescription drug overdoses are becoming more common. As older Americans take painkillers, doctors and nursing homes need to be aware of what drugs their patients are taking and possible interactions. Patients also need to be properly educated about drug overdose risk, especially when it comes to painkillers. Without proper monitoring, computerized prescription programs, and other systems in place, doctors may unwittingly prescribe drugs to patients that can interact with drugs they are already taking.
Some of the accidents noted in the reports seemed odd at first. For instance, toilet accidents sent over 100,000 people to the emergency room. When one considers the slippery surfaces, the aging population, and hazards in a bathroom, it becomes clearer why these injuries are an issue. For instance, nursing homes have a responsibility to offer their residents safe premises. Residents who could injure themselves should be monitored and helped. When facilities fail to perform their responsibilities, personal injuries can occur. The Robson Law Firm is a personal injury attorney in Austin, Texas who works with families whose loved ones have been injured due to a company or person’s negligence or neglect.
The reality is that not all nursing homes are equipped to handle the patients they have. Nurses may be overwhelmed and may not always be aware of their residents’ prescriptions and possible medicinal interactions—which can lead to overdose. Facilities may not have the safety features limited mobility residents require.
Medicare offers a checklist for families who are looking for a nursing home for their loved ones. Some of the important things families should consider include:
- Does the nursing home have a licensed nurse on staff 24-hours a day, or for part of each day?
- Does the nursing home perform background checks on staff?
- Do staff refer to residents by name?
- Do staff wear name tags?
- Do residents have personal space to store belongings?
- Are exits clearly marked?
- Are common areas designed for wheelchair use and limited mobility residents?
- Are there handrails or grab bars in restrooms?
- Do residents have choice of food items?
- Does nursing home have activities and outdoor areas?
- If the nursing home failed an inspection or if deficiencies were found, has the home corrected these issues?
Families and loved ones may take the time to inspect a nursing home and get to know staff, but sometimes accidents happen. This can be due to premises liability issues such as damp floors, failure to repair the premises, or due to hazards on the floor. Staff turnover can lead to medication errors.
If you or a loved one was hurt due to another person’s negligence or neglect, a personal injury lawyer in Austin like Chris Robson may be able to help. Chris is the owner of the Robson Law Firm and is committed to helping injury victims.
Call 512-345-8200 today or visit our website www.robsonlawfirm.com.