Too many nursing home residents suffer scald burns as a result of dangerously hot water in bathtubs, showers or sitz baths. Thermal burns also occur with the misuse of hot packs. These injuries often occur because nursing homes are understaffed, the nursing home staff is not competent, or the facility has been negligently maintained.
Nursing homes have a duty to provide a safe environment and equipment for their residents. In addition, nursing homes owe a duty to their residents to ensure that the resident environment remains as free from accident hazards as possible. These duties require that the facilities and environment remain safe for bathing the vulnerable residents of a nursing home.
To do so, nursing homes should monitor and log water temperatures on a regular basis in all areas accessible to residents as part of routine maintenance procedures. Maintenance staff should use accurate thermometers when making these checks. Additionally, facility staff should immediately report water which seems excessively hot to the appropriate staff for quick correction. Maintenance staff should be knowledgeable about the operation of the facility plumbing systems and how to correct problems. Commercial plumbers should be used for complex systems. There are a variety of commercially available and relatively inexpensive anti-scald devices for use on outlets that shut off water automatically above 120 degrees.
In addition, nursing homes owe a duty to have sufficient and competent staff to ensure the well-being and safety of the residents. This requires proper training and supervision so that the nursing home staff safely bathe the nursing home residents, including ensuring a safe water temperature.
If you believe a loved one has been a victim of a burn or scald in a nursing home or other elder care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a FREE CONSULTATION.