A California nursing home resident suffered significant scalding injuries when she was exposed to 145 degree water while seated in a shower. After she was burned, the CNA did not call 911, but put her to bed instead. Investigators learned that the facility had a policy against permitting non-supervisory staff to call 911.
The resident suffered third-degree burns on over 60% of her body as a result of being scalded.
Nursing home residents are especially vulnerable to scaldling injuries for a number of reasons. One reason is that most nursing home resident are quite elderly, and as we age, our skin becomes thinner and more susceptible to injury. Another reason that nursing home resident are vulnerable to scald injuries is that they often have limitations in mobility, and the longer they are exposed to the hot water, the worse the injury is.
Most bathing at nursing homes is done in the company of CNA’s, and it is their obligation to ensure that temperatures are appropriate for bathing. Additionally, the maintenance staff has an obligation to ensure that the plumbing system functions properly.
The article indicated that the water was 145 degrees. Water of that temperature can cause full-thickness burns in under a second.