Hospital Fall, What are My Legal Rights?
My father was taken into the ER with symptoms of pneumonia. When he was admitted to the hospital and transferred to the floor, apparently he fell off the bed. It happened while he was under heavy sedatives and obviously at fault of personnel. No one contacted us when it happened and when we got to the hospital, they told us about it and told us how he fell, he had a cardiac arrest. As a result of that he’s got a brain hemorrhage and his prognosis is grave according to the doctors. I see it as a pure negligence on the part of the hospital and want to bring legal action. What are my choices?
This type of action falls under a claim for medical negligence. When a patient is given sedation, appropriate precautions should be taken. In addition, it is dangerous to sedate a patient who has pneumonia because the respiratory drive is reduced making it even harder to breathe. In many fall cases, however, it is difficult to show under what circumstances the patient fell. In your case, it seems that the hospital may not have been aware of the fall for quite some period of time and that can be substandard in and of itself. Even if your father fell through no fault of the hospital staff, why were they not aware of the fall. (A much better assumption than that they tried to hide the evidence of the fall which would be criminal.) Certainly, the lack of knowledge demonstrates that these providers where not appropriately supervising a patient who was very ill. If there are also diagnostic studies which show trauma, the case of neglect is even stronger.
I hope that your father improves and is able to come home to be with your family. If he does not, we would be happy to speak with your mother about her next steps.