Whenever a person is admitted into a hospital, they instantly become placed in a vulnerable position. They are sick to begin with and most likely in a weakened condition. The patient is most likely medicated; on medications that make them drowsy, dizzy, or completely sedated. Of course, the patient is in an unfamiliar place and being cared for by strangers.
The experience of this Kingston medical malpractice attorney has made these facts always present in the mind. Being in a hospital involves a lot of trust and unfortunately many medical professionals do not take their responsibilities as seriously as they should. In fact, many patients become injured while admitted in a hospital. Specifically, they are injured by falling, when dropped by staff, and by various other mistakes.
Patient falls are a bigger problem than most people would suspect. It is startling that over eighty percent of all inpatient accidents are due to patients falling. These vulnerable patients will most likely be injured during the fall, some of them seriously so. These injuries will mean that the patient will have to stay in the hospital longer than they would have if the fall did not happen. And of course, medical bills will be larger.
The fact is that many falls should not happen. Hospital staff must ensure that patients are kept safe. If the patient is at risk for falling, the patient’s chart should state that fact. It should even be recorded right in the patient’s room. Additionally, if the patient can easily fall, or is unsteady on the feet, he or she should be provided with devices such as canes, crutches, walkers, or wheel chairs. Hospital staff should teach the patient how to use these things. Staff should also closely watch the patient to ensure that he or she does not get up on their own. Monitors on the patient’s bed can help staff carry this out.
Let us say that the hospital does indeed do the above properly. Problems can still arise. This is when staff ends up dropping the patient. It is great that staff was there to help the patient in and out of bed, but such assistance must be done properly. Hospital staff has been known to drop patients when assisting the patient on or off the toilet; during shower bathing; and even when getting the patient in or out of a wheel chair.
When patients fall, or when dropped, they can easily fracture a bone. A head injury can happen, and death can result.
In addition, many patients are injured when hospital staff does not competently execute the doctor’s orders. Staff is required to follow the doctor’s instructions to the fullest extent.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.