Unsupervised Patient Falls and Fractures Pelvis During Discharge; Hospital Settles

An elderly patient was being discharged from the hospital following an admission for respiratory difficulties. The patient, who was a high fall risk, was escorted outside the hospital by an aide during discharge. The patient’s daughter was to meet the patient in the front of the hospital. The aide left the patient sitting by herself on a bench just outside the hospital entrance. Before the patient’s daughter arrived, the patient fell and sustained a pelvis fracture. The hospital’s discharge policy required staff to remain with the patient to provide supervision throughout the discharge process until the patient was safely placed into the care of a family member. The patient died two weeks after the fall. The patient’s family sued the hospital for failing to supervise the patient for the duration of the discharge process. The hospital settled the case for a confidential amount.

Pill Count After Fall