Particularly in Florida, it is important to understand the risks and dangers that excessive heat pose to the elderly. People over the age of 65 are significantly more prone to heat stress and heat-related illnesses including heat stroke.
Heat-stroke and other heat-related injuries are largely preventable, and should never occur in a nursing home. Nursing home staff members should be trained how to identify the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses. In addition, nursing home facilities need to be equipped to provide residents escape from the summer heat. If you or a loved one have suffered from heat stroke while residing in a nursing home, consult an experienced nursing home abuse attorney that can help. A Palm Beach County nursing home heat stroke injury lawyer can fight for justice for you or your loved one.
Warning Signs of Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is considered a medical emergency characterized by the body’s internal temperature reaching a temperature of 104 degrees or above. When a person’s internal temperature is this high it can lead to serious and life-threatening complications such as brain damage, and damage to internal organs.
Nursing home staff should be alert to the warning signs of heat stroke and heat related-illnesses including:
- A resident having an internal temperate of 104 degrees and above
- Dry, hot, and red skin
- Reduced or no sweating
Common Injuries Resulting from Heat Stroke
A heat stroke is the most severe form of heat injury, and when a person is experiencing a heat stroke, their body is not able to cool itself. A heat stroke is considered a medical emergency and should be promptly treated, otherwise, a heat stroke may result in severe injuries including:
- Organ failure
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Tachycardia (high pulse rate)
While heat stroke is a medical emergency, nursing home staff can treat residents for heat-related injuries by placing them in a cooled room, providing residents with light cooling clothing, and lowering a resident’s temperature through ice packs and fans. Not doing so can be grounds for a personal injury case. Individuals should consult a Palm Beach County nursing home heatstroke injury lawyer if they want to know more.
Protecting Nursing Home Residents in Palm Beach County
Failing to ensure that nursing home residents are safe when the temperature rises can be a clear sign of nursing home abuse and neglect. Nursing home staff should closely monitor residents particularly in the summer months and should ensure that residents are drinking plenty of fluids, wear lightweight clothing while outdoors, limit the amount of time spent outdoors, and avoid overexertion.
Florida nursing home regulations specifically require that nursing homes provide residents with a safe and comfortable environment, which includes air-conditioning. In addition, nursing homes need to have emergency plans in place to continue to provide a cool environment in the event of a natural disaster.
In light of the recent tragedy after hurricane Irma, Florida Governor Rick Scott implemented emergency rules to help protect nursing home residents from events like this in the future.
How a Palm Beach County Nursing Home Heat Stroke Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one developed heat stroke while under the care of a nursing home in Palm Beach County, it is important to understand your rights and your right to compensation.
A Palm Beach County nursing home heatstroke injury lawyer can help injured victims and families hold nursing homes responsible for their negligence and help recover compensation for medical bills, injuries, pain and suffering, and even wrongful death.