Dehydration is a significant risk for the elderly and people with chronic illnesses, including nursing home residents who do not receive proper care. Becoming severely dehydrated can cause kidney damage, which may lead to coma or death if not corrected.
A nursing home resident who is allowed to become dehydrated is a victim of neglect. If you or a family member of yours has suffered dehydration-related injuries at a nursing home or long-term care facility, contact the Becker Law Office for help.
Threat of Injury from Dehydration in Nursing Homes
Dehydration is a lack of water and other fluids required for the body to function normally. An illness that includes intense diarrhea, vomiting, or fever with excessive sweating may cause dehydration. Diuretics and some blood pressure medications can also lead to dehydration by causing the patient to urinate or perspire more than normal.
Simple lack of intake to counter the body’s normal loss of fluids, including through exercise and perspiration, will also cause dehydration.
Mild dehydration is easily corrected by consuming water and/or hydration supplements, even if an infirm patient must receive solutions intravenously. Severe dehydration requires immediate medical care.
An individual suffering from severe dehydration can rapidly progress from shock to kidney failure, coma and death. Even if milder dehydration is not corrected, the patient may suffer weight loss and muscle wasting that leaves them more susceptible to bedsores (pressure ulcers), infection and injury from falling.
Among nursing home residents, dehydration can be the result of physical or mental illness, such as severe dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), or cognitive and functional impairment that prevents a patient from drinking on his or her own or requesting fluids. But these problems can be overcome by monitoring a patient’s vital signs and intervening medically when dehydration is indicated.
Severe dehydration in a nursing home patient is a matter of neglect or, in some cases, active abuse.
If you believe a nursing home resident has become dehydrated, you should request medical assistance immediately. If a nursing home resident you care about has suffered an injury you believe was due to dehydration, you should contact an experienced nursing home neglect and abuse attorney.
Contact a Louisville Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
The Becker Law Office can help if a loved one of yours has suffered injuries caused by dehydration while under the care of a nursing home in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, or Tennessee. We can investigate the treatment your loved one has receive to determine the source of the neglect or abuse that led to the injury. In addition to working to correct the situation, we can pursue compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses.
Please call the Becker Law Office today to set up a free meeting with a nursing home abuse attorney. We can help you obtain justice for you and your loved one.
- Mayo Clinic – Dehydration
- Journal of the American Geriatrics Society – Factors contributing to dehydration in nursing homes: inadequate staffing and lack of professional supervision
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – Long-stay nursing home care: percent of residents who lose too much weight