The Danger of Dehydration Among Nursing Home Patients

Dehydration is a serious risk for nursing home residents who do not receive proper care. Some of the serious side effects of dehydration in the elderly include internal organ damage, coma, and even death. If your loved one has experienced injuries or harm due to dehydration, it is a wise idea to contact seasoned legal counsel.

The Causes of Dehydration

Dehydration involves a lack of water as well as other fluids that a person’s body requires to function in a normal manner. Some of the reasons why nursing home patients become dehydrated include the following:

  • Physical Obstacles. Sometimes, dehydration can be caused by a person who suffers from physical or mental conditions that leave them unable to request fluids to drink.
  • Illness. In some cases, medical conditions that involve diarrhea, high fevers, or vomiting are likely to cause dehydration.
  • Medications. Some types of medication can result in a person becoming dehydrated.
  • Lack of Fluid Replacement. Sometimes, a person might fail to properly consume a sufficient amount of liquids to replace loss of fluids in the body.

The Difference Between Mild and Severe Dehydration

While mild dehydration can often be remedied by consuming water, more severe cases of dehydration require more immediate medical care. Mild dehydration often results in muscle and weight loss. More severe cases of dehydration, however, can result in kidney failure as well as coma and death.

Signs of Dehydration Among Nursing Home Patients

Even though many different types of people are susceptible to being diagnosed with dehydration, the symptoms of dehydration are often similar. Some of the signs of dehydration in nursing home patients include the following:

  • Canker sores
  • Disorientation
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Hallucination
  • Inability to sweat
  • Irritability
  • Low blood pressure
  • Severe thirst

Serious Medical Complications Associated With Dehydration

Many people die each year due to dehydration. The reason for this large number of deaths is that dehydration has the potential to result in several deadly medical conditions. Some of the most common complications associated with dehydration include the following:

  • Brain swelling can occur if a person consumes too much fluid after becoming dehydrated, which can result in lasting brain damage.
  • Comas can occur in cases of severe dehydration, which sometimes transition from unconsciousness to death.
  • Kidney failure is common among dehydrated nursing home residents. The kidneys help to excrete toxins from a person’s blood and this job is compromised when a person is not properly hydrated.
  • Seizures are common among serious cases of dehydrated residents of nursing homes. In many cases involving seizures, malnutrition is also involved.

Contact a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If your love one has been harmed by dehydration while living in a nursing home, our legal counsel can help. We will investigate the situation surrounding your loved one’s case of dehydration to determine how it occurred. Our legal counsel can also pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain, and other damages incurred. Contact the Ferrara & Gable today to schedule a free consultation.