Nursing homes provide medical care to residents who need such care for short-term rehabilitation or long-term care. When nursing homes negligently fail to provide necessary care, or negligently provide care that they are required to provide to residents, then the nursing homes may be subject to medical malpractice claims and medical malpractice lawsuits against the nursing homes and/or their employees and caregivers.
According to a recent lawsuit filed on behalf of a former League City, Texas nursing home resident who allegedly died as a result of medical malpractice committed by the nursing home staff, a 78 year-old woman who was a resident of a local nursing home was heard yelling for help after having fallen from her bed onto the floor. The lawsuit claims that when found on the floor by her bed, the resident was bleeding due to head trauma and was in severe pain. She was placed back into her bed but later found unresponsive. She later died in the hospital from her injuries, according to the medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that the nursing home was negligent in its care of the woman and that its negligence was the cause of her death.
The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the woman was a known high-risk for falls and that her doctor had ordered that her bed be placed in it lowest position, that mats be used to protect her from injuries due to falls, and that a bed alarm be used to warn when she attempted to get out of bed, all of which allegedly were not in use at the time of her fatal fall.
Adding insult to injury, when the woman’s family requested a copy of the woman’s records from the nursing home on multiple occasions (evidently on 10 occasions), the nursing home allegedly failed to provide the records, claiming that its attorney was reviewing the records but failing to provide the name or contact information for the lawyer. Therefore, the medical malpractice lawsuit also requested a temporary restraining order from a judge seeking that the nursing home be ordered to not destroy or alter the woman’s nursing home records.
On November 3, 2011, a Texas judge granted the request for a temporary restraining order, preventing the nursing home from erasing, destroying, altering, modifying, or disposing of the records and documents regarding the woman on whose behalf the medical malpractice claim was filed. The restraining order further requires that the nursing home “produce all healthcare and medical records, notes, correspondence, memos, incident reports, photographs, investigative documents, witness statements and other documentation” regarding the woman.
If the factual allegations of the medical malpractice lawsuit are found to be true, then the nursing home may be found liable to pay damages to the woman’s family for the results of the negligent medical care that resulted in her injuries and death. While it is not uncommon for elderly residents in nursing homes to be susceptible to falls, when the high-risk of falling is known and the appropriate fall precautions ordered by the treating physician and documented by the nursing home staff are not followed and result in severe injuries or death to nursing home residents, then nursing homes should be held responsible to pay compensation for the avoidable injuries and losses.
If nursing homes properly evaluate the risk of falls for their residents and take timely and appropriate precautions to reduce that risk, then the nursing homes will not have to worry that their medical malpractice failures may result in their being ordered to pay compensatory damages for their preventable failures.
If you or a loved one were injured as result of nursing home medical malpractice in Texas or another state in the U.S., visit our website or call us toll free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be able to help you with a medical malpractice claim.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.