Personal Injury & Nursing Home Abuse
Pittsburgh and Western PA

How Nursing Home Neglect Can Lead To Brain Injuries

Doctor's hand using a pen to point to an MRI of the brain, indicating a traumatic brain injury.

Nursing homes are meant to provide a safe and caring environment for elderly residents, but unfortunately, nursing home neglect and insufficient care can lead to serious consequences, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

How do head and brain injuries happen in nursing homes?

When nursing home staff fail to provide adequate supervision or medical care, residents may be at risk of accidents or falls, resulting in serious head or brain injuries. Neglecting to address residents' medical needs or failing to administer medications properly can aggravate health conditions and increase the likelihood of brain injuries. Intentional abuse or neglect by caregivers may also contribute to TBIs.

If you suspect your loved one has suffered a brain injury in a Western Pennsylvania nursing facility due to neglect, seeking legal help from an experienced attorney is essential. A nursing home neglect lawyer can help you understand your legal options and pursue justice for your loved one.

Brain injury risks due to nursing home neglect

TBIs occur when the brain sustains a sudden impact, bump, or penetration, ranging from mild concussions to severe impairments affecting physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning.

In nursing facilities, neglect of the environment and inadequate care increase the risk of TBIs among residents. Common causes of TBIs due to neglect in nursing homes include:

Lack of proper supervision: Inadequate staffing levels or negligent monitoring can result in residents engaging in unsafe activities without supervision, leading to falls or other accidents causing TBIs.

Poor lighting: Insufficient lighting in hallways, common areas, or residents' rooms increases the risk of trips, falls, and other accidents that can result in TBIs.

Spills: Failure to promptly clean up spills in common areas, bathrooms, or dining areas can create slippery surfaces, increasing the risk of falls and head injuries.

Cluttered floors: Obstacles such as equipment, personal belongings, or debris scattered on floors pose tripping hazards, increasing the likelihood of falls and TBIs.

Uneven floors: Uneven or poorly maintained flooring can cause residents to trip or lose balance, leading to falls and head injuries.

Failure to address slip, fall, and trip hazards: Neglecting to identify and mitigate slip, fall, and trip hazards in the environment puts residents at risk of accidents resulting in TBIs.

Inadequate handrails and bedrails: Insufficient or poorly maintained handrails and bedrails fail to provide residents with necessary support and stability, increasing the likelihood of falls and TBIs.

Transportation accidents: Failure to ensure safe transportation of residents within the facility, such as using appropriate mobility aids or securing residents during transfers, can result in falls or accidents leading to TBIs.

Choking incidents in nursing homes can also lead to brain injuries. Neglect in addressing residents' dietary needs, providing appropriate meal assistance, and monitoring residents during meals can increase the risk of choking incidents. Choking can result in oxygen deprivation to the brain, leading to a brain injury and potentially life-threatening consequences.

Types of TBIs in nursing facilities

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

An acquired brain injury occurs due to various factors such as falls, infections, or lack of oxygen. In nursing homes, inadequate supervision or safety measures can lead to falls or accidents, resulting in ABIs.

Intracranial Bleeding

Intracranial bleeding refers to bleeding inside the skull, which can exert pressure on the brain. Failure to monitor residents' medications or address underlying health conditions in nursing homes can lead to complications like high blood pressure or clotting disorders, increasing the risk of intracranial bleeding.

Subdural Hemorrhage (SDH)

Subdural hemorrhage occurs when blood accumulates between the brain and its outermost covering, the dura mater. Nursing home negligence, such as improper handling or physical abuse, can result in head trauma and SDH.

Ischemic Strokes

Ischemic strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is obstructed, often due to a blood clot. Neglecting to monitor residents' health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or failing to provide adequate nutrition and hydration in nursing homes can heighten the risk of ischemic strokes.

Cerebral Contusions

Cerebral contusions are bruises on the brain tissue caused by direct impact or force to the head. In nursing facilities, neglecting to address safety hazards or failing to prevent accidents can lead to head injuries and cerebral contusions.

Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)

DAI occurs when the brain's nerve fibers are stretched, torn, or sheared due to rapid acceleration or deceleration, commonly seen in falls. Inadequate supervision or improper handling of residents in nursing homes can contribute to DAI incidents.

Skull Fractures

Skull fractures involve breaks in the bones surrounding the brain, often caused by severe blows or trauma to the head. Neglecting to implement proper safety protocols or failing to prevent physical altercations among residents can result in skull fractures in nursing facilities.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury

Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen and blood flow, leading to tissue damage. In nursing homes, neglecting to address respiratory issues, medication errors, or delayed emergency responses can contribute to hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries.

Protect your loved one after a head or brain injury

If your loved one has suffered a head or brain injury in a Western Pennsylvania nursing facility, it's important to act fast to protect their rights. At Hal Waldman & Associates in Pittsburgh, we are committed to advocating for the rights and well-being of elderly residents in nursing homes, personal care facilities (assisted living), and memory care units. Our experienced legal team will work tirelessly to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions and fight for the justice your family deserves. To explore your options and learn more about your legal rights, contact us today for a free consultation.

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