Among the elderly population, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. The statistics are grim. An elderly American dies from injuries sustained in a fall every 19 minutes. Further, an elder adult is treated in emergency departments for falls every 11 seconds. This totals about 2.8 million injuries caused by falls that are treated in emergency departments every year. 800,000 of those injuries result in hospitalizations and 27,000 elderly Americans die each year from fall-related injuries. The Knox News reports on a nursing home that can no longer accept new admissions for letting an elderly patient with two broken knees remain in agony for 9 days.
The patient, whose name was not released, was injured in November when she fell to the floor as a nurse’s aide was changing her bedsheets.
The patient then began complaining of severe pain, but all staff at the Westmoreland Health and Rehabilitation Center only gave her pain medications.
It took five days for the staff to get an x-ray of the woman’s knees, which showed fractures. It took another four days for an orthopedic doctor to be consulted, who admitted her to the hospital to repair the broken bones.
The patient died a month later.
Westmoreland Health and Rehabilitation has been barred from accepting new admissions. They must also pay $30,000 in penalties. The state has also appointed a special monitor to oversee the facility’s operations.
A state news release found Westmoreland to be below standards for nursing home administration, performance improvement, patient rights, nursing and radiology services.