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Study Finds Number of Preventable Nursing Home Deaths Quadrupled Over Past Decade

By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Sep 8, 2017

A landmark study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, reveals some haunting statistics regarding the number of preventable nursing home deaths. According to the study’s results, the number of potentially preventable nursing home deaths has quadrupled in the past decade.

More Patients Dying from Preventable Nursing Home Injuries

Researchers found that between the years of 2000 and 2013, the number of deaths from falls – most of which were likely preventable – increased dramatically. To be sure, in 2001, the rate of fall-related deaths was 1.2 per 1,000 nursing home admission; in 2011, the rate jumped to 5.3 deaths per 1,000 admissions.

While falls charactered the majority of potentially preventable nursing home deaths, characterizing 81.5 percent of deaths, other causes of death amongst nursing home residents included:

  • Choking;
  • Suicide;
  • Critical care complications;
  • Auto accidents during patient transport;
  • Assault;
  • Drowning; and
  • Poisoning.

Increase in Death Rate Inexcusable

As explained by Dr. Catherine Yelland, it can be easy to dismiss the recent study and the number of deaths based on the fact that the deaths affect frail elderly people, rather than otherwise healthy adults and children. Instead, however, Yelland said that the statistics may indicate that “we don’t care quite enough,” and that nursing home residents are receiving care that is less than optimal.

Preventable nursing home deaths are all-too-common in America, too. Falls are a leading cause of death amongst elderly adults in the U.S., and infection, lack of proper care, understaffing and poor patient-to-caregiver ratio, and medication errors all plague U.S. nursing homes.

When Poor Nursing Home Care Leads to Preventable Injury or Death

Poor nursing home care is inexcusable, and more needs to be done to put an end to the preventable injuries and deaths suffered by nursing home residents . While it is  possible to review nursing homes using the Medicaid Nursing Home Compare tool, the tool is not foolproof; preventable harm and nursing home malpractice can and does happenevery day. When poor nursing home care leads to preventable injury or death, the injured party, or their surviving family members if injuries are fatal, have the right to pursue a civil claim against the nursing home.

Our Experienced Nursing Home Attorneys Are Here to Help You

At the law offices of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., our experienced attorneys are committed to helping you navigate the legal system when nursing home errors and medical malpractice lead to preventable acts of harm. For legal representation from a passionate medical malpractice attorney that you can trust to work hard for you, contact our attorneys today. You can schedule your free consultation online or by phone.

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