Dehydration is a common problem in nursing homes that fail to implement and follow appropriate protocols, and it may adversely affect your or your loved one’s health. At the Lawrence Law Group, our experienced Jacksonville nursing home neglect lawyers are committed to holding negligent nursing home operators accountable for the harm that they cause.Pursuing Compensation for Dehydration and Related Injuries
When an elderly person is dehydrated, a number of health problems are likely to follow, such as brain swelling, kidney failure, coma, seizures, and death. Dehydration is one of the most common forms of elder neglect or abuse in nursing homes. In many cases, patients are unable to maintain their own hydration level because they are physically unable to lift a cup to their mouths. One study has found that 25 to 40 percent of residents had illnesses and conditions that may have been linked to dehydration.
Some of the causes of dehydration among nursing home residents include:
- Extended periods of diarrhea: diarrhea can be both a symptom of dehydration and a source of further dehydration.
- Communication problems: a resident may be unable to communicate when he or she is thirsty, or the staff may fail to understand their communications;
- Lack of supervision: unfortunately, many nursing homes are inadequately staffed, which results in some patients going without supervision for long periods of time;
- Lack of training: many nursing homes do not take the time to adequately train their staff about the importance of hydration and the health risks associated with dehydration;
- Dementia: a resident may not be aware he or she is dehydrated; and
- Vomiting: the inability to keep fluids down causes rapid dehydration.
To prevent the deadly effects of dehydration, it is imperative that nursing staff monitor each resident’s intake of fluids, weight, vital signs, and skin turgor (the speed at which skin returns to its normal shape after being pinched). If the nursing home fails to take these steps, and the resident suffers injuries or death, a claim can be brought pursuant to Florida Statute 400.023, titled “Civil Enforcement” under the chapter for “Nursing Homes and Related Health Care Facilities.” Using registered nurses and other expert witnesses, we can prove the nursing home was negligent.
Negligence claims against nursing homes must be initiated within two years from the wrongful conduct. This time frame is known as the statute of limitations. A failure to file within this time limit might mean losing your chance to be heard by a court altogether.Contact a Jacksonville Lawyer for a Nursing Home Neglect Claim
Dehydration is a serious concern when it comes to nursing home residents. If your loved one’s health suffered because of dehydration or a related condition, it is important to seek the guidance of a Jacksonville nursing home neglect attorney who can advocate for your rights. The Lawrence Law Group is committed to holding negligent nursing homes accountable for the harm that they cause. Our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys represent victims and their family members throughout Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Baker, Nassau, Flagler, Putnam, Brevard, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Lafayette, Hamilton, Jefferson, Dixie, and Leon Counties. Call us at 904-632-0077 or contact us online to set up a free appointment to discuss your or your loved one’s situation.