Patient Falls More Than Once, Suffers Multiple Fractures, Nursing Home Settles

On 1/12/10, a 65-year-old patient was transferred to the hospital’s emergency department from dialysis due to abdominal pain. Later that day, she was returned by the ambulance defendants to the nursing home on a stretcher, which rolled downhill, hit a sidewalk, and overturned. The patient fell from the stretcher to the ground. As a result of the fall, the patient sustained a right clavicle fracture.

On 2/12/10, the patient sustained a fall at the nursing home and was complaining of pain to her face. On 2/13/10, she complained that her knees and her jaw were hurting. The day shift nurse contacted the physician and obtained an order for x-rays to the knees and the jaw. X-rays of the mandible and knees were taken at the hospital later in the afternoon. As a result of the x-rays, the patient was diagnosed with a mandible fracture. The patient was transferred from one hospital to another for consultation on her mandible fracture. The hospital recommended non-operative treatment, and the patient was returned to the nursing home, where, on return, the fall team recommended and put into place a low bed with bilateral fall mats and a concave mattress.

On 2/21/10, the patient fell while being transferred by staff at the nursing home without using a Hoyer lift. On 2/27/10, the patient was admitted to the hospital. While at the hospital, she was diagnosed with a femoral neck fracture with 80 degrees angulation. The hip fracture was caused by the fall.

The patient died on 3/11/10. The death certificate listed the immediate cause of death as left hip fracture due to fall from bed to floor.

The family contacted us to pursue claims against the nursing home for failing to provide proper fall and transfer assistance, and fall prevention. We were able to obtain a settlement award for the patient, which is confidential at the nursing home’s request.