Dangers of a Fractured Hip Among Elderly
For most people, tripping and falling is not a big deal. We may wake up sore the next day or suffer a minor scrape or bruise on our hand, but a trip and fall is generally something that the average adult heals from in a relatively quick amount of time. Of course, even young and healthy individuals can be seriously injured in a trip and fall if they land wrong, hit their head, or fall to a lower level. But again, even when a fall results in a serious injury, such as a broken wrist or concussion, younger patients end up recovering. The same is not necessarily true among the elderly (individuals over the age of 65). Falls are a leading cause of hospitalization and even death for senior citizens, and one type of fall injury in particular is the culprit of sending thousands of seniors to their early deaths: the fractured hip. When any serious fall happens in a nursing home, there must be an investigation into the cause, because more often than not, the culprit is not merely the victim’s bad balance, but nursing home negligence.
Most Hip Fractures Occur in The Elderly Population
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), three million older adults visit the emergency department each year because of fall injuries. And, fall injuries among this age group are increasingly drastically each decade. There was a 31 percent increase in fall injuries among seniors from 2007 to 2016. Here in Florida, there is a 4.2 percent annual chance of death that a person 65 or older will die from a fall. Fall injuries among the elderly commonly involve traumatic brain injury, lacerations and contusions, fractured limbs or wrists, and fractured hips. Fall risk factors include:
- Poor balance;
- Poor eyesight;
- Decreased bone mass;
- Inelastic muscle and tendons.
Elderly Women Are at Greater Risk Than Elderly Men
86 percent of hip fractures occur in adults 65 or older, according to research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Elderly hip fracture victims are not only at risk of never being able to walk again, but may never recover. Like the flu, a fractured hip and spell the end for elderly victims. 21 percent of elders (in this study elders were considered to be 60 and older) who fracture their hips die within one year. Elderly women are at a greater risk of death from a fractured hip than men. Elderly women have an eight-fold increase in chance of death during the first three months of recovering from a fractured hip, while men of the same age have a five-fold chance of death.
Call a Skilled Tampa Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Today
At best, a fractured hip for your elderly loved one probably means they will never be able to walk again without assistance or assistive devices. Depending on their health, however, the outcome could be much worse. With such a drastic decrease in quality of life, and potentially length of life, the responsible party must be held accountable. Nursing homes that fail to provide careful assistance to seniors are negligent, and can be held liable for your loved one’s damages. Call the Tampa nursing home abuse attorneys at Goudie & Kohn today at 813-428-8504 to schedule a free consultation.