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When There is Bone-Chilling Weather, Boston Nursing Homes Should Take Precautions to Prevent Hypothermia Injuries and Fatalities

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to go no higher than 17 degrees in Boston, while wind chill will go down to five feet below. The weather predicted to be even colder in the central and western areas of Massachusetts, with wind chills going down to 22 below zero in the Berkshires and winds moving at 30 miles per hour in Worcester.

With such cold weather, it is important that nursing homes exercise the necessary precautions to make sure that patients don’t end up getting sick or dying from exposure to the cold weather. Failure to protect patients from related cold weather-related injuries and illnesses can be grounds for a Boston nursing home neglect case.

Examples of Cold Weather-Related Nursing Home Injuries:
Boston slip and fall accidents on icy sidewalks or steps: With their more brittle bones, elderly seniors are more prone to suffering serious injuries should they end up slipping and sliding on ice. Hip injuries, broken bones, and fractures are all too common, and these can up the risk of infection and other complications.

Hypothermia: This can develop a person’s body temperature drops below normal and stays there for a long period of time. The sick, elderly persons, and patients on certain medications, are more prone to this condition. It is important to make sure that patients’ rooms are properly heated, the residents are appropriately clothed, and doors and windows are secured so that a resident with dementia doesn’t wander off into the snow alone and unsupervised. It is also important to note that elderly adults that aren’t as active tend to create less body heat in general, which means even mild cold weather might cause them to become hypothermic. Nursing home staffers need to be aware of such nuances involving each patient and provide them with the proper care against winter weather conditions.

If you believe that your loved one got sick or died because of Massachusetts nursing home negligence, do not hesitate to contact one of our Boston nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers right away and ask for your free case evaluation.

Bone-chilling temperatures strike Mass., Boston Herald/AP, January 23, 2013
Winter Weather: Hypothermia, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC


More Blog Posts:

Fighting Boston Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: CMS Now Offers Full Inspection Reports of 15,000 Facilities Online, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 15, 2012

Milton, Massachusetts Choking Death at Group Home Leads to Manslaughter Charge, Boston Injury Blog, October 18, 2012

Study May Have Exposed Elderly Boston Nursing Home Patients to Greater Risk of Fall Accidents, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, October 4, 2012