In nursing homes across Rhode Island and Massachusetts, an alarming number of elderly individuals suffer from dehydration every year. From abandonment to failure to account for the effects of a particular medical condition, residents who experience dehydration are often victims of negligent or abusive care.
At Bottaro Law Firm, we are experienced in helping elderly individuals and their families hold nursing homes accountable for the effects of dehydration. Dehydration can lead to debilitating injuries – or worse – and frequently leaves nursing home residents and their families with extraordinary financial and emotional burdens. If you or a loved one has suffered from dehydration in a nursing home, we are here to help you protect yourself and your family and obtain the compensation you deserve.
How Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse can Lead to Dehydration
Along with malnutrition and bedsores, dehydration is one of the most common conditions suffered by victims of nursing home negligence and abuse. Dehydration occurs when the body uses and expels more water than it takes in, and in the nursing home setting it is dangerously easy for this to occur. Many nursing home residents rely on their caretakers to meet their basic needs, and this includes providing adequate fluids to avoid dehydration. Nursing home residents frequently suffer from dehydration as a result of:
- Being abandoned
- Having their medications administered improperly
- Inadequate supervision
- Lack of access to clean drinking water
- Unreasonable restraints
In addition, elderly individuals who suffer from the following conditions may be at increased risk for dehydration. All of these are common consequences of medical conditions that can result from inadequate and improper nursing home care:
- Diarrhea and increased urination
- Excessive sweating
Malnutrition May Also Lead to Dehydration
Nursing home residents who do not receive adequate nutrition may also be at an increased risk for dehydration. Not only do these two problems often go hand-in-hand with inattentive care, but much of the body’s water intake comes from food. As a result, elderly individuals who experience malnutrition frequently suffer from dehydration as well.
Risks Associated with Dehydration
The risks associated with dehydration are severe. Sadly, the elderly are among those who are at the greatest risk for the dangerous – and in many cases life-threatening – consequences of dehydration. These include:
- Cerebral edema – Cerebral edema, or swelling of the brain, is a complication closely linked to dehydration. This is an extremely serious condition that can be fatal when not diagnosed and treated promptly.
- Coma – Elderly individuals who suffer from dehydration may fall into a coma.
- Hypovolemic shock – Dehydration can cause a drop in blood volume, which can lead to a drop in blood pressure and, ultimately, a lack of oxygen supply for the brain and the body’s other vital organs.
- Kidney failure – Dehydration can also lead to kidney failure, preventing removal of waste from the blood. This too can be fatal without prompt medical intervention.
- Seizures and Coma – Another consequence of dehydration is an imbalance of electrolytes in the body. This imbalance can cause seizures and loss of consciousness, which can lead to falls and other dangerous injuries and conditions.
Spotting the Warning Signs of Dehydration
Due to the extreme risks associated with dehydration, it is important for nursing home residents and their family members to be familiar with the warning signs of dehydration. Unfortunately, in many cases residents are unable to help themselves, and their loved ones may not become aware of the problem until it is already too late.
Some of the warning signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Headaches and dizziness
- Dark yellow urine or little to no urination
- Low blood pressure
- Persistent or extreme thirst
- Sunken eyes
If you are concerned that you or an elderly loved one may be suffering from dehydration, you should seek emergency medical attention right away.
Contact Bottaro Law Firm for a Free Consultation Today
Our attorneys have decades of experience helping victims of nursing home negligence and abuse fight for just compensation. We believe that nursing homes deserve to be held accountable for their incompetence, and each member of our legal team is passionate about helping victims of negligence and abuse win maximum financial compensation for their physical, financial, and emotional losses. For more information about what we can do to help, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation or call us at (866) 529-9700 today.