North Carolina Nursing Home Falls: Some Fall Accidents Are Preventable

While a fall out of a bed or chair doesn’t often seriously hurt young and healthy people, even small falls and slips can be extremely dangerous to the elderly. For someone in a nursing home, even a fall from a wheelchair or a trip in a hallway could result in broken bones, fractured hips, and other serious injuries. At the same time, recovering a serious fall injury can involve infections, complications, and a great deal of pain.

Are North Carolina nursing homes responsible for patient fall accidents? While some fall accidents in adult care centers are simply accidents, other falls are due to staff negligence and could have been prevented. In some cases, a patient might fall out of bed or out of a wheelchair because staffers neglected to provide safety railings. In another case, a staffer might cause a fall by not properly monitoring a patient or by moving them incorrectly. Here are just two recent nursing home fall cases in North Carolina that involved nursing home negligence:

•    A 95-year-old patient was moved from a wheelchair to a bed by a staff member who ignored the woman’s care plan, which called for the use of a mechanical lift. The nurse dropped the patient on the floor and broke both of her legs. The woman died four days after her fatal injuries were discovered.
•    At Britthaven in Chapel Hill, and elderly man was spending his first night at the nursing home when he fell out of bed and fractured his hip. The nursing staff had neglected to put a safety railing on his bed. His widow is suing for NC nursing home negligence.