Hospital Fall Lawyers in Denver
Hospital patients should not hit the floor with anything but the soles of their feet. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines a fall in this setting as “an unplanned descent to the floor with or without injury to the patient.” Here at Leventhal Puga & Braley P.C. we are concerned with the cases that do cause injury.
In our experience, falls are the most common never event in healthcare – meaning something that should never be allowed to happen. Between 700,000 and 1 million people fall in medical centers every year. Approximately 30% of these falls result in injury.
When someone is checked into a hospital, he or she is already ill or injured. If medical staff neglect a vulnerable patient for hours on end, or fail to take important precautions, that patient can suffer a preventable fall and additional injuries.
Our trial lawyers regularly pursue claims against these negligent medical providers, and we can help your family, too. If you suspect hospital negligence was the reason your loved one fell, we will investigate. Call (877) 433-3906 for a no-cost consultation. We handle medical malpractice claims across the United States.
Age is a major factor when it comes to the risk of falling, and hospitals know this. Patients older than 60, who are female, with a low body mass index, and the presence of two or more conditions, are statistically more likely to fall. Here are some other risk factors:
- Impaired balance or gait,
- Altered mobility,
- A history of falling,
- Impaired cognition,
- Dizziness or vertigo,
- Orthostatic hypotension,
- Muscle weakness or degeneration,
- Frequent need to use the bathroom,
- Visual impairment, and
- Certain medications such as benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, and sedatives.
According to the AHRQ, fall prevention isn’t just managing a patient's underlying risk factors – it’s optimizing the hospital's physical design and environment. Every staff member has a part to play. There are a number of practices that, studies have shown, do reduce falls; but not all hospitals bother to use them – and when they do, they may not use them systematically.
In our experience, patients – especially older adults – are likely to suffer:
- Head trauma, including traumatic brain injury and intracranial bleeding, which can be fatal.
- Broken bones, especially in the wrists and hips.
- Internal bleeding, usually surrounding a broken bone.
- Lacerations, which can lead to serious, hospital-acquired infections.
The biggest problem with a fall is that the patient was already weak, and/or already suffering from another medical condition. The body simply may not be able to handle another injury at that point. The medical bill will go up, and the prognosis will worsen. That is why preventing falls is a public health issue, and an issue of patient safety as well.
Whether your loved one collapsed, slid from a bed or chair to the floor, was dropped, or tripped and fell, this is something that simply should not happen in a healthcare setting. Fall intervention, such as assigning a patient to a special room, providing bed rails, assigning a sitter, using video surveillance, placing the patient close to a nurses’ station, and providing bathroom assistance, is both necessary and the hospital’s duty. (The use of physical restraints as fall prevention is generally discouraged.)
If you or a loved one suffered a fall while checked in to a medical center, call Leventhal Puga & Braley P.C. at (303) 759-9945. Our trial lawyers have handled hundreds of similar cases. We know how to read confusing medical records, how to uncover vital evidence, and how to present a case to a jury. Our clients come first, and we take it personally when the healthcare system fails them. Call today for a no-cost initial consultation.
- Falls Prevention - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Preventing Falls in Hospitals
- Characteristics and Circumstances of Falls in a Hospital Setting