If you have an aging or disabled relative, the time may come for you to make the difficult decision to place them in a nursing home. When this happens, you expect your loved one to receive proper care.
Unfortunately, not all facilities provide this proper care, and dehydration is a serious problem that can lead to significant health complications. The Jacksonville dehydration lawyers at Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help guide you through the process of holding the facility responsible for the harm they’ve caused.
How Our Jacksonville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help If Your Loved One Suffered From Dehydration in a Care Facility
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers has over 69 years of combined legal experience. We are passionate about providing unrivaled personal service to all of our clients.
When you hire our Jacksonville nursing home abuse attorneys to help, you can expect us to:
- Investigate the dehydration claim to gather evidence and value damages
- Determine who is at fault for your loved one’s dehydration and whether similar complaints have been filed in the past
- Work with medical specialists to prove how the dehydration has impacted your loved one’s quality of life
- Negotiate on your behalf as we work towards a favorable outcome
- Handle your case from start to finish, even if it means taking the claim to court
When you turn to us, you know your case will be in the hands of capable Jacksonville personal injury attorneys. Call us today to learn more.
What Is Dehydration?
The Cleveland Clinic defines dehydration as “the absence of a sufficient amount of water in your body.” Most of the body is made up of water.
Water aids in several important bodily functions, including:
- Getting rid of waste
- Lubricating your joints
- Balancing the chemicals in your body
- Delivering oxygen throughout your body
- Regulating body temperature
- Acting as a shock absorber for your brain and spinal cord
When the body is missing water, these body functions can be impaired.
How Does Dehydration Occur?
Dehydration occurs when a person does not get enough water.
This can happen because a person has:
- Diarrhea – Water can leave the body through repeated bowel movements that are common with diarrhea. Various medical conditions and medications can cause diarrhea.
- Increased urination – Diuretics, blood pressure medications, and other medications can cause increased urination that rids the body of needed water.
- Vomiting – Some medications or reactions to environmental factors can cause vomiting that decreases the body’s water supply.
- Fever – High fevers can cause dehydration. Dehydration worsens when fever couples with other issues like diarrhea and vomiting.
- Excessive sweating – People also lose water when they sweat. Hot temperatures can increase how much a person sweats.
Nursing homes and other care facilities should be aware of these risk factors and work to mitigate them to avoid harming your loved one.
What Are the Symptoms of Dehydration?
The Mayo Clinic identifies the following symptoms of dehydration:
- Extreme thirst
- Dry mouth
- Dry cough
- Sunken eyes or cheeks
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
- Dry or ashy skin
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling faint, weak, or light-headed
- Fever or flushed red skin
- Labored breathing
- High heart rate
When a nursing home patient has communication or cognitive problems, it can be difficult for them to explain these symptoms to caregivers. Nursing home staff should actively monitor the patient’s health to avoid dehydration and other complications.
Complications of Dehydration
Dehydration can lead to serious complications, including:
- Kidney failure
- Urinary tract infections
- Urinary problems
- Brain swelling
- Low blood volume shock
- Pressure ulcers
- Heat injuries
- Sudden weight loss
These complications can lead to serious medical conditions and even death in some situations.
What Are a Nursing Home’s Responsibilities To Patients?
Nursing homes are required to follow state and federal regulations to protect the health and safety of patients.
Some of their responsibilities include:
- Provide food and water at regular intervals
- Feed patients with essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins
- Supervise patients during meal times
- Employ adequate numbers of staff to assist patients
- Conduct preliminary and ongoing assessments to determine patients’ needs regarding food and water consumption
- Properly train staff on how to provide food and water to patients
- Provide necessary assistance to patients who need help eating or drinking
- Measure and record patients’ food and water consumption
- Monitor for signs of dehydration or malnutrition
- Properly monitor patients’ dietary restrictions and medications
- Seek medical assistance immediately once dehydration is suspected
Nursing homes may be found negligent if they fail to uphold these duties.
When Can a Nursing Home or Care Facility Be Liable for Dehydration in Jacksonville, FL?
Nursing homes that fail to meet their duties to patients and their families may be liable for dehydration.
Such failures may occur due to:
- High staff turnover
- Lack of training
- Deviating from the standard of care
- Violating nursing home standards
- Failing to offer assistance to patients when going to the bathroom
Some patients may not have the verbal ability to say when they have to go to the bathroom or that they feel dehydrated, another reason why staff members need to be vigilant about properly monitoring patients.
Contact Our Jacksonville Dehydration Attorneys To Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
If you suspect that your loved one’s dehydration was due to nursing home neglect, Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help. Contact us today online or call us for your free case consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Jacksonville, FL.