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Brain and Head Injuries in Nursing Homes

  • Published: 2010-10-31 : Author: Cullan and Cullan M.D., J. D.
  • Synopsis: Brain injuries disability and death among nursing home residents can occur with oxygen deprivation due to choking or smothering drug overdose or a lack of supplemental oxygen.

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Questions about Brain and Head Injuries - Brain and head injuries can result in severe disability and wrongful death in the vulnerable nursing home resident. Many head trauma and brain injury cases are reported each year in the United States.

Experts agree enough is not being done to protect vulnerable elderly residents of nursing facilities. Many of these injuries could be prevented with greater supervision.

What can cause head trauma or brain injury among nursing home patients


Improper transfer of patient

Lack of oxygen to the brain

Physical abuse

Many falls and transfer injuries could be avoided with greater patient supervision. Federal law states that proper assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers, must be provided. Patients who cannot move freely must be properly supervised. When transferring a patient, adequate equipment and staffing can make the difference between a smooth transfer and an injured patient. As more acutely ill patients are cared for in nursing homes across the country, these issues become critical to a safe environment.

Brain injuries, disability and death among nursing home residents can occur with oxygen deprivation due to choking or smothering, a drug overdose, or a lack of supplemental oxygen. Medication errors can also lead to brain injury.

Nursing home employees are people. Sometimes, they feel frustrated. Occasionally, they strike out against nursing home patients and cause injury by striking, smothering or shaking the elderly individual, sometimes causing severe disability or death.

How often do falls occur and how can they be prevented

On average, nursing home residents experience 2.6 falls per year. Approximately 10% to 20% of nursing home falls result in serious injuries. Approximately, 1,800 nursing home residents die each year as a result of these falls. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Prevention includes better supervision and adherence to laws designed to protect the elderly living in nursing homes.

What should I do if I suspect head trauma and brain injury in my loved one

Unlike many other types of injuries, detecting a brain injury can be complex, since symptoms are subtle. If a loved one has been injured or has died due to nursing home abuse and neglect, consult an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to learn more about your legal options.

In Phoenix, Arizona, please visit the website of lawyers are also doctors with extensive medical backgrounds at Cullan and Cullan M.D., J. D. for a confidential, no-cost consultation. Website:

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