The dangers of falls in hospitals and nursing homes

U.S. hospitals are the scene of between 700,000 to one million falls each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patient falls can be very dangerous, and hospitals need to do more to prevent them.

Patients who fall can suffer injuries ranging from broken bones and lacerations to brain injuries such as subdural hematomas. These injuries are serious in any circumstances, but when they happen to a person who is already ill or injured, they can greatly complicate the person's recovery.

What are the causes of patient falls?

There are numerous factors that can contribute to a fall in a hospital or nursing home, including:

  • Failure to use restraints and bedrails
  • Wet floors
  • Patients with dizziness or balance problems
  • Patients who are sedated or on certain medications
  • Patients with impaired cognition
  • No walkers or other assistive devices available for patients
  • No staff available to help patients out of bed
  • Staff dropping patients when helping them in or out of bed or wheelchairs

If hospital or long-term care facility staff fails to recognize and remedy these issues, patients may suffer serious injuries. In these cases, the facility may be held accountable for the resulting injuries. These types of cases can be complex. The facility and its insurance carrier will fight hard to deny responsibility.

If you or a family member suffered a fall in a hospital or nursing home, you will need an attorney who has experience with these cases. Cases involving medical malpractice and hospital liability will likely be highly contested. Learn more by visiting our website.

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