When reasonable care is not taken to prevent hospital negligence, patients can be injured. Injuries that take place in hospitals can be extremely serious and possibly even fatal. For example, injuries can take place when a patient is being transported. Hospitals have protocols in place when it comes to the transportation of patients. When the staff does not follow these protocols, patients can suffer falls that lead to injuries that can be serious and potentially life-threatening.
One of the most common causes of injures in hospitals are slip and fall accidents. When a patient falls in a hospital they can suffer from hip fractures, subdural hematomas, skull fractures, broken bones, injuries to the spinal cord, among other serous and debilitating injures. Hospital falls can be caused by:
- Allowing at-risk patients to walk without supervision
- Balance disorders
- Failure to monitor patients
- Failure to use patient protective devices
- Hallway clutter
- Improper use of restraints
- Inadequate lighting
- Malfunctioning bed rails
- Medication errors (that lead to patients who are dizzy or disoriented)
- Muscle weakness
- Slip-and-fall accidents resulting from slippery floors and hazards
- Visual impairment
Elderly patients are more susceptible to falls than younger patients as they tend to be unsteady on their feet and as a result it is easier for them to fall. Falls for this group can also have more serious consequences due to their weak and frail bones. Sometimes these types of injures can lead to the untimely death of the elderly person.
The negligence of hospital staff can be directly related to many hospital falls. When there are patients with a high risk of falling, the staff needs to develop and implement plans in order to minimize the risk of falls. Such plans include:
- The use of waterproof footgear to decrease the hazards associated with slip and falls;
- Using waxes that are no-skid on the floors and surfaces, as well as coating them with grit to create a non-slip surface in areas that are slippery;
- Ensuring that countertops, nursing stations, and medication cars do not have any sharp or square corners;
- Replacing or stretching carpets that bulge or bunch to prevent tripping;
- Making sure there is adequate lighting, especially at night.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a fall that resulted from the negligence of a hospital, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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