Jerome, Salmi & Kopis, LLC – Law Firm in Fairview Heights, IL


What Every Loved One Should Know About Falls

When you make the painful choice to place a loved one in a nursing home, you have certain basic expectations. For one, you expect that they will be safe. It really is as simple as that. Granted, you don’t expect perfection, nor do you expect that staff will perform miracles. However, you expect that your aging spouse or parent will not be injured or suffer worse conditions than they would have at home. Falls are just one of the many dangers that nursing home residents face. Experienced nursing home negligence attorneys are here to help you fight for your loved one’s rights.

Are Falls Really Unpreventable?

No!  In fact, research shows time and again that most falls are entirely preventable. When a senior falls in a southern Illinois nursing home, the administrator and nursing home staff will almost always tell the family that the fall was unpreventable or “there was nothing they could do” or “we tried everything we could, but she keeps getting up.”
Do you have your doubts? Do you think you’re being lied to?  Well, you are right to be skeptical. Here is the truth:
In the 1990’s a nurse and researcher by the name of Janice Morse, Ph.D., R.N. wrote a groundbreaking book entitled, “Preventing Patient Falls.”  The book established a standard of practice that would later lead to a second edition in 2008 and revolutionize fall preventions in hospitals and nursing homes forever. It created a standardized method of predicting fall behavior in seniors. This is now known as the “Morse Fall Scale,” which is used in major hospitals and even by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
So when someone tells you falls are unpreventable, just remember that according to the leading authorities on the subject, including the federal government, the majority of patient falls are completely preventable because they can be predicted well in advance. And as Morse herself put it in the Second Edition of her book, patients don’t have “accidents” because we actually expect them to fall. And if you can predict something, you can do something to stop it.

Medicare and “Never Events”

Beyond the leading research, the U.S. Department of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regards falls as “never events.” This just means the government considers falls and fractures to be events that should never happen in a healthcare environment. After all, people go to nursing homes and other health facilities to get better, not to suffer additional harm.

The Risk that Falls Create

For most people a fall is uncomfortable and may even result in an injury. To a vulnerable nursing home resident, it may mean a total loss of mobility or even turn into a death sentence. Take for example a broken hip. A fractured femoral neck (the top of the femur which pivots in the joint of the pelvis) can lead to lengthy periods of immobility requiring physical therapy. If the resident is unable to get up and move about, pneumonia and other respiratory infections can easily set in leading to a rapid decline and death. Hence why a good fall prevention protocol must be in place at all times, and staff MUST FOLLOW IT.

Getting Help Fast

Illinois law only gives you just two (2) years to take legal actions after an injury. If you’ve discovered that a beloved relative has suffered a tragic accident or injury in a nursing home in southern or central Illinois, you don’t need to call a distant law firm in another state or in Chicago. There are skilled attorneys right here in our region who can help. By working with industry-leading medical experts, Jerome, Salmi & Kopis can perform a rapid investigation into the cause of your loved one’s injuries and begin working to hold the nursing home accountable.
There is no cost to you or the estate upfront. All of our efforts are done on a completely contingent basis, meaning you only pay for our help if we succeed in recovering compensation. So call us at (618) 726-2222 today to speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer right away.


Types of Infections

Nursing home residents are frequently at risk of developing infections, due to living in close proximity to other people with infections. Poor hygiene and poorly trained staff can also make the problem worse. Cross contamination, careless nursing staff, negligence, understaffing, and other problems can lead to deadly exposure to airborne and bloodborne pathogens and bacteria. Here are some of the most common forms of infection that people develop in hospital and nursing home environments:


Pneumonia happens when the lungs become inflamed and infected, sometimes filling with fluid, puss, or other infectious materials. Rare among the general public, these infections are a concern for people with limited mobility. Something like a hip fracture can quickly lead to lack of mobility and ultimately pneumonia.

Clostridium difficile (C-Diff)

C-diff is most common when a person has built up a resistance to antibiotics after long-term use of certain powerful drugs. This is why it is important for elderly nursing home residents to receive appropriate dietary and hydration services, as well as good infection control. It’s much better to prevent infections than be forced to treat them long term. C-diff causes loose stools and can be fatal.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

This is not your ordinary Staph infection. It is often caused by open sores or wounds, and in time it can be fatal. MRSA (pronounced “Mersa”) is very hard to treat, because by its nature it is resistant to drug therapies. 


Of all the infections nursing home residents can acquire, Sepsis is the most serious immediate threat in many cases. This is because it is an infection of the blood. Once an infection has gotten into a person’s blood, it can claim a life within days or even hours.

When you’ve lost an elderly loved one due to the careless or thoughtless conduct of nurses and other staff at a nursing home in southern Illinois, Jerome, Salmi & Kopis is here to stand up to the big nursing home companies. Many attorneys claim to take on nursing homes, only to refer cases to big cities in far away places. Loved ones then must communicate with lawyers solely by phone in distant cities, often in other states. But Jerome, Salmi & Kopis is right here in southern Illinois, and we’re fighting to improve the quality of care for our region’s seniors one nursing home at a time.
To learn more about elder abuse and nursing home injuries, visit our firm online, and if your loved one has suffered a serious infection or exposure to diseases, and you believe their injuries or death are the result of poor care, call Jerome, Salmi & Kopis. We won’t charge anything for the consultation, there is no time limit on the meeting, and we only get paid if we are able to get justice for your loved one by making the nursing home pay for it’s negligence. Call today for a free consultation with a southern Illinois nursing home abuse attorney.


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