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Dehydration Can Be Deadly to Nursing Home Residents

Posted on in Neglect

Chicago Nursing Home Abuse LawyerEveryone knows that the human body requires water. However, few realize just how quickly dehydration can occur. When a person’s body is already weakened due to age or illness, appropriate hydration is essential. Consequently, nursing home residents are at an especially high risk of dehydration-related consequences. Staff must be extra vigilant for signs of dehydration. If a resident is dehydrated, action must be taken immediately to prevent serious medical complications or death.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Nursing Homes

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it consumes. Elderly individuals already have lower levels of hydration and many take medications that further lower the volume of water in their bodies. Nursing homes must carefully monitor the amount of water residents consume and look out for signs of dehydration such as:

  • Infrequent urination

  • Dark-colored urine

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Muscle cramps

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Rapid breathing

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Skin that is cool and dry to the touch

If a nursing home resident is unable to communicate or suffers from dementia, they may be unable to report these types of symptoms. So, nursing home staff will need to look for signs of dehydration when attending to the resident’s needs. If dehydration is not addressed, the resident can suffer profoundly. In extreme cases, a resident may pass away from dehydration.

Causes of Dehydration

Nursing home residents may take medications that cause them to urinate more frequently than normal. Many suffer from medical conditions that make eating and drinking more difficult. Cognitive decline may also play a role in a resident’s hydration level because he or she may simply forget to drink water.

If a nursing home does not take the appropriate action to prevent and treat dehydration, this may be considered neglect. The resident may be entitled to monetary damages. If the resident passes away due to nursing home neglect, the resident’s surviving family may be able to bring a legal claim against the facility.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

Dehydration is a common sign of nursing home neglect. If your loved one suffered because of nursing home neglect, contact our Cook County nursing home injury attorneys to discuss your legal options. You may be able to hold the nursing home responsible through a personal injury or wrongful death claim. You may also be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other damages. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10522951/

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