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Hospital negligence can harm senior citizens

When an elderly person visits a hospital for medical care, there are special considerations that everyone who cares for the person must take into account. A sad reality is that many hospitals don't have the tools and staff necessary to provide proper care for the aging population. Some of these vulnerable patients can fall victim to a variety of problems during any hospital stay, even one that should be routine.

One issue with hospital stays for elderly patients that must be taken very seriously is the introduction of new medications. Many elderly people take a variety of medications each day. There is a chance that introducing new medications can cause adverse reactions. For that reason, it is vital for a senior citizen to bring a list of medications with dosing information into the hospital to help prevent medication errors that might occur.

Another issue is that senior citizens are at risk for falls. These falls can lead to the senior being injured. In some cases, death can occur. With that in mind, it is necessary for hospitals to always ensure that senior citizens have help when moving about, especially if they are disoriented or on certain medications.

Infections are another issue that can plague senior citizens. Hospital-acquired staph infections and pneumonia are possible. Also possible are bedsores from not being repositioned properly. Proper hand washing by staff members and frequent repositioning of the senior citizen are necessary to prevent these types of injuries.

As many people have discovered, being in the hospital isn't always a positive experience for an elderly person. If your loved one was injured while in the care of a hospital, seeking compensation for the injuries might be a top priority for you. Knowing how to do so in Washington, District of Columbia, can help you hold the liable party accountable for your loved one's injuries.

Source: Parent Giving, "Older Patients: At Risk in the Hospital" Martine Ehrenclou, M.A., accessed Jan. 27, 2015

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