Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Chicago, IL

Has Your Loved One Suffered a Brain Injury Because of Nursing Home Neglect?

Nursing home staff and administrators have an obligation to look out for the health and safety of their residents. However, this duty is sometimes neglected. In many cases, nursing home neglect results in traumatic brain injury (TBI) or an acquired brain injury (ABI). This can lead to severe consequences such as cognitive dysfunction, memory loss, motor skill decline, and even paralysis or death.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Illinois nursing home residents are entitled to care that respects their dignity. Failure to provide such care calls for accountability. Recognizing the causes, signs, and symptoms of head and brain injuries stemming from neglect is crucial in defending the well-being and rights of the elderly.

What types of neglect in nursing homes result in TBIs?

TBIs are particularly severe for older adults, who are more vulnerable due to their frail health. The primary cause of TBI in nursing homes is falls, which are often preventable. Unfortunately, failure to maintain a safe environment in a nursing facility often leads to falls. These falls are often caused by:

  • Inadequate lighting
  • Uncleaned spills creating slip hazards
  • Cluttered walkways
  • Lack of assistance for mobility
  • Insufficient handrails
  • Poorly maintained wheelchairs
  • Uneven flooring
  • Unstable furniture
  • Ill-fitting shoes

Beyond falls, physical abuse by staff, other residents, or visitors can also cause TBIs. For example, shaking, shoving, or any form of rough handling can result in the resident suffering a jolt or blow to the head, or a fall that leads to brain injury.

How does nursing home neglect lead to ABIs?

An ABI results from internal factors such as deprivation of oxygen to the brain. In nursing homes, choking is a prevalent cause of ABI, as it restricts oxygen flow. This can potentially lead to severe brain damage. To mitigate this risk, facilities must evaluate residents’ capability to ingest food and adapt diets to include softer foods. They should also adjust bed angles to lessen choking hazards and closely observe residents while they eat. Quick intervention during choking incidents is crucial due to the narrow time frame available to avert brain injury.

Furthermore, ABIs can arise from strokes, brain tumors, infections affecting the brain’s lining, seizures, or overdoses of medication. Residents who are most susceptible to ABIs have pre-existing health conditions, compromised mobility or balance, or take certain medications. Nursing homes have a duty to monitor the health of their residents. They should ensure prompt and proper care to prevent any adverse events leading to brain damage.

Common brain injuries caused by nursing home neglect

The most common brain injuries in nursing facilities include:

  • Intracranial bleeding: This typically includes subdural hematomas, intraparenchymal, and subarachnoid hemorrhages that stem from abuse, medical neglect, or delayed care. Symptoms include headaches, confusion, unconsciousness, and neurological deficits.
  • Subdural hemorrhage: This involves bleeding between the layers of brain tissue. It’s often associated with severe physical abuse or life-threatening brain injuries.
  • Ischemic strokes: This is caused by the obstruction of blood flow to the brain, often leading to brain tissue damage. Ischemic strokes may stem from untreated medical issues, poor medication management, inadequate infection control, dehydration, malnutrition, or delayed medical response. They typically appear as weakness or numbness on one side of the body, speech difficulties, and abrupt severe headaches.

What are the warning signs of a brain injury?

Brain injury warning signs in nursing home residents can be subtle and easily confused with other health conditions. Key indicators to watch for include:

  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or lethargy
  • Confusion, disorientation, memory issues, or concentration difficulties
  • Breathing challenges, shortness of breath, or unusual respiratory patterns
  • Multiple fractures at different healing stages suggesting physical abuse
  • Unusual bruising or abrasions, particularly on immobile individuals
  • Persistent vomiting or decreased nutrition

Our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys are here to help

When the signs of brain injuries are overlooked in nursing homes, it’s important for families to be aware of their legal rights and the necessary steps to protect their loved ones. Victims of nursing home neglect and their families should seek immediate legal assistance.

The nursing home negligence attorneys at Ferrell Young, LLC in Chicago have extensive experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect claims. We thoroughly investigate negligent facilities and look for evidence of neglect, abuse, and other forms of negligence. We’ll leave no stone unturned when gathering the facts and pursuing justice for you and your loved one.

To find out how we can help you, contact us online or call our Chicago law office to schedule a free consultation.

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