An elderly patient of a Roanoke area hospital was allowed to fall from her hospital bed. She was found by a nurse "face down" in the floor in a large pool of blood. The fall was unwitnessed and occurred when no staff was present with her. The patient's family claimed the hospital failed to take appropriate fall precautions. Specifically, the patient was not properly supervised, had not been provided a fall alarm on the bed that would have alerted staff if she attempted to leave the bed unassisted, a low/lower bed, or a fall mat at bedside to cushion any fall.
As a result of the fall, the patient sustained a fracture of bones in the cheek. She also suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding inside her skull) that was made worse because she was on blood thinners. The bleeding increased, stabilized, and then resolved within weeks. The patient thankfully did not suffer any neurological symptoms and had no permanent injury. Even though she was documented to have "returned to baseline" shortly thereafter, the hospital settled for low to mid six figures.
Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia
Posted on Sat, July 19, 2008
by Robert Carter