Dehydration is a potentially lethal problem for Floridians over the age of 65. According to Reuters, nursing home residents are five times more likely to suffer from dehydration than the rest of the population. In the most serious cases, dehydration can lead to a higher concentration of sodium in the blood, also known as hypernatremia. Elderly individuals with hypernatremia have a higher risk of organ failure.
Since dehydration is often the result of a reckless or careless nursing home, if you or a loved one was a victim of dehydration in St. Petersburg nursing homes, you should contact a practiced nursing home abuse attorney to learn whether your case qualifies for compensation for damages.
Duty of St. Petersburg Nursing Homes
In St. Petersburg, a nursing home, including all their staff members and medical professionals, must take care of the elderly residents at their facilities. In the most basic sense, this means that the nursing home must provide adequate food, water, and healthcare to their residents. For some elderly residents, especially those with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications, that may also require assistance to ensure they are receiving adequate food and liquid intake.
On the other hand, some residents who are able to manage their own food and water intake, may still suffer dehydration in St. Petersburg nursing homes and staff will not take them to the bathroom which may cause them to avoid drinking water.
Recovering Damages for Injuries Caused by Dehydration
In both circumstances, the elderly resident who suffered an injury because of dehydration in St. Petersburg nursing homes may be able to recoup those damages from the negligent facility.
For nursing homes that fail to provide healthy food and liquids to their residents, the law allows the injured residents to recover those damages. Under the law, a nursing home resident may be able to recover both monetary and non-monetary damages. Monetary damages may include reimbursement for medical bills including medication, rehabilitation, x-rays, and doctor’s appointments.
Non-monetary damages are not directly financial may include compensation for pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life. Non-monetary damages can also include punitive damages, which are awarded by a judge where the nursing home’s behavior was especially appalling.
Liability for St. Petersburg Nursing Home Injuries
In some situations, the dehydration may be caused by more than just the nursing home. For example, a doctor or nurse may also be responsible for failing to provide the care to which an elderly resident is legally entitled.
In these circumstances, the injured resident may file a negligence lawsuit against all responsible parties and the jury may assign a percentage of fault to each party in the lawsuit. Each liable party may have to pay damages in proportion to their percentage of fault. For example, if the nursing home was 70 percent at-fault and a doctor was 30 percent at-fault for a $100,000 damages award then the nursing home may be responsible for paying the victim $70,000 and the doctor may be obligated to pay $30,000.
Contact a Lawyer with Experience in Cases Dealing with Dehydration
Dehydration can have devastating effects on anyone but can be potentially lethal for elderly individuals. When nursing home residents suffer from dehydration, they may face organ failure that can be lethal in the worst cases.
To learn more about whether your case may be viable, contact a lawyer with experience in cases dealing with dehydration in St. Petersburg nursing homes. They can help you sort through the facts of the case to better understand your options.