Investigation of Injuries of Unknown Origin: What Nursing Homes Don't Want You to Know
Residents in nursing homes are often unable to care for themselves and depend on the nursing home staff for their daily activities. These staff members have a responsibility to provide care that meets the acceptable standards and to ensure the safety of their residents. Unfortunately, nursing home injuries happen, and sometimes they are the result of an unknown origin.
One of the most common nursing home injuries are fractures. Many times, these injuries are occurring due to falls. However, it's not uncommon for nursing homes to fail to document a fall, often because it would mean they need to do an investigation, and potentially report to the government authorities. Therefore, the nursing homes simply claim that the fracture must have been spontaneous or a pathological fracture, even when there is no history of brittle bones or osteoporosis.
When someone in a nursing home suffers an injury, especially if it is of unknown origin, it is essential to investigate the circumstances surrounding the injury. Failing to do so can lead to a failure to diagnose and treat underlying medical issues and justice not being served for the victim. Here's what you should do to investigate injuries of unknown origin:
1. Document everything: If the victim reports an injury, make sure to document every detail surrounding the injury, including the time and place of occurrence. Documentation is critical in determining the facts surrounding the injury.
2. Interview the Victim: Conduct an interview with the victim to understand when and how the injury occurred. This inquiry should be thorough and include documentation of the victim's state of mind and the details surrounding the circumstances.
3. Review the Medical Records: Review the victim's medical records to determine if there was any history of medical conditions that could have contributed to the injury. You should look for possible inconsistencies, such as gaps in documentation or undocumented injuries.
4. Conduct an Inspection: Conduct an inspection of the nursing home facilities to identify any possible hazards that could have contributed to the incident.
5. Call in Expert Help: Consider calling in professional experts, such as nursing home abuse attorneys, medical experts, or accident reconstruction experts, to provide an unbiased opinion and assist with your investigation.
Reporting : A nursing home is required to report an injury of unknown origin. In most states, nursing homes are required by law to report any incident of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident. This includes any injury that cannot be explained or that occurs under suspicious circumstances.
Reporting requirements may vary by state, but nursing homes typically must report incidents to the state's health and human services agency or to the nursing home's licensing or certification agency. In New York, these incidents muat be reported to the NYS Department of Health.
If you suspect that an injury of unknown origin has occurred in a nursing home, it is important to report it immediately to the appropriate authorities. This can help protect the safety and well-being of the residents and prevent future incidents from occurring.
Unfortunately, the nursing home staff may not always act in the best interest of their residents. When injuries occur, we must hold them accountable for their actions or lack thereof. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury of unknown origin in a nursing home or long-term care facility, don't hesitate to call our nursing home abuse attorneys. At Leitner Varughese Warywoda, we have the skills, knowledge, and resources to help you achieve justice and secure the compensation you deserve.
In summary, investigating injuries of unknown origin in nursing homes is essential for victim safety and nursing home accountability. Nursing homes often try to brush these incidents under the rug, but as family members or advocates of victims, it's important to investigate and hold them responsible for their actions.