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Can Nursing Home Residents Sue for Medical Malpractice?

Because many nursing home residents are elderly and have health problems, nursing homes often have on-site medical facilities staffed with nurses and doctors.

While these healthcare professionals make a big difference in residents’ lives and overall well-being, they can also make mistakes that cause residents to suffer serious injuries and illnesses.

When residents are harmed by negligent medical staff in their nursing homes, they can sue for medical malpractice just like they can if they’re harmed in a clinic or hospital.

Common examples of nursing home medical malpractice include:

Bed Sores

Bed sores are painful ulcers that develop when an area of skin has its blood supply cut off for more than a few hours. Serious bed sores can extend past the skin into the tissue. Complications associated with bed sores include infection, sepsis (a life-threatening reaction to a serious infection), extreme pain, skin and tissue death, and more.

Nursing home staff are required to move bedridden patients frequently to prevent bed sores. When they fail to move patients who are bedridden due to disability, it may be considered neglect. But if they fail to move patients who are recovering from medical procedures, or if nursing home doctors fail to diagnose and promptly treat bed sores, it may be medical malpractice instead.

Physical Rehabilitation Injuries

Injuries related to slips, trips, and falls are common in nursing homes. In addition, many residents arrive at these facilities with limited or no mobility. For these reasons, many nursing homes are equipped with physical rehabilitation centers to help residents improve or regain their mobility.

However, residents can suffer serious injuries in physical rehabilitation centers if the nurses, physical therapists, and other caretakers who work in them are negligent. For example, residents can be seriously injured if they’re pushed beyond their physical limits, aren’t properly instructed in how to use equipment, or aren’t supervised during their rehab sessions.

Prescription Drug Errors

Most nursing home residents take at least one prescription medication. Many residents take several medications to treat conditions ranging from high blood pressure and high cholesterol to anxiety and depression. Because so many residents in nursing homes take prescription drugs, nursing homes often have on-site pharmacies and pharmacists to dispense medications.

Just as patients can sue doctors and pharmacists for prescription drug errors that hurt them, nursing home residents can also sue if they’re injured or become ill due to:

  • Receiving the wrong medication
  • Receiving a dosage that’s too strong or too weak
  • Receiving medications that interact dangerously with each other
  • Receiving a medication too often or not frequently enough
  • Receiving a medication that they’re allergic to
  • Receiving a medication with side effects that weren’t disclosed to them

Failure to Treat

Because many nursing home residents are of advanced age and have health problems, it’s common for residents’ health to decline over time and for them to experience health emergencies. Nursing homes are supposed to be active participants in residents’ care, and that means taking their concerns seriously and escalating care to local clinics or hospitals when necessary.

When residents’ health isn’t properly monitored, or when their conditions worsen and they aren’t treated promptly (whether on-site or at a clinic/hospital), residents may develop preventable complications. Failure to diagnose or treat is considered medical malpractice in standard clinics and hospitals, and it applies in nursing homes, too.

Negligent Post-Treatment Recovery Process

When nursing home residents are transported to clinics and hospitals to receive surgery, their nursing homes are responsible for their post-operative recoveries after they’re discharged. Many residents who are recovering from surgery need help with changing bandages and gauze, getting in and out of bed, using the bathroom, and more.

Residents who are neglected while recovering from surgery and other invasive treatments may develop serious infections, fail to heal properly, or even experience severe blood loss. These residents may be considered medical malpractice victims and can sue their nursing homes for any preventable complications they suffer.

Contact Our Oklahoma Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Unsure if your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse/neglect or medical malpractice? The legal team at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers can help you determine if you have a claim.

Because so many nursing home residents need medical care, it’s common for injuries to overlap with medical treatments for other health problems. Our lawyers know how to investigate nursing home injuries and determine if they’re caused primarily by abuse, neglect, medical malpractice, or a combination of the three.

Contact us anytime to get our experienced Oklahoma nursing home abuse attorneys on your side. We have years of experience handling both nursing home abuse and medical malpractice claims, and we know what it takes to get our clients the money they deserve.