Long term care facilities such as nursing homes and skilled care homes are heavily regulated at both the state and federal levels. Pennsylvania nursing homes which receive funds from Medicare are required to follow the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA). The OBRA can be found at 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 483. Over the last 20 years, the OBRA has established minimum standards for quality of care in nursing homes across the U.S.
OBRA Section 483.25 details basic standards for quality of care in nursing homes. This includes various aspects of resident care, such as:
- activities of daily living (ADL),
- pressure sores,
- urinary incontinence,
- psychosocial/mental care, and
- special needs.
Fall Accidents in Nursing Homes
In addition, nursing homes are required to take reasonable precautions to maintain environments which are free from accident hazards. Nursing homes must also ensure that each resident receives proper supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents. Under Section 483.25(h):
the facility must ensure that—
(1) The resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible; and
(2) Each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.
With respect to fall accidents in Pennsylvania nursing homes, elderly residents are particularly at risk for falls. In addition, simple falls often lead to fractured bones, and for someone with serious health conditions, a fracture injury can cause major complications and even death. Whether it’s during transference from a bed to a chair or chair to a bath, the reality is that residents often suffer major injuries when fall accidents occur.
Pennsylvania nursing homes are often plagued by poor staffing which often leads to negligence in the form of inadequate supervision. Certified nurse aides (CNAs) are often tasked with the day to day care needs of nursing home residents. This includes waking, transferring, toileting, dressing, feeding, etc. The problem is that CNAs are usually overworked and underpaid. This in turn can lead to poor quality of care and eventually, accidents.
For example, due to persistent understaffing a CNA is tasked with bathing multiple residents. After bathing 4 residents in a short period, she fails to follow protocol and does not use an assistive device to move a 5th resident from a wheel chair to a shower stall. The resident falls and fractures her skull. Is the nurse solely at fault? No, management is also at fault for allowing poor staffing.
Nursing Home Accidents & Injuries in PA
Residents of nursing homes in Pennsylvania who suffer injuries due to accidents may be able to obtain monetary compensation for their injuries. Claims may be made for pain and suffering, medical bills, etc.
Call our Pennsylvania & New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers for a free case assessment. (215) 985-0777
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