Patient Falls, Suffers Fracture, Debilitation, Nursing Home Settles

An 81-year-old female patient was admitted to a nursing home facility on December 21, 2006. On admission, she was a high fall risk. On December 25, 2006, the patient rang her call bell multiple times to obtain help from the nursing home staff, but they did not respond. The patient was forced to attempt to ambulate by herself, and she fell. The fall caused a displaced fracture of the right femoral neck. The patient was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where right hip surgery was performed. As a result of the hip fracture and surgery, the patient’s mobility was limited and she experienced considerable pain.

When the patient was discharged from the hospital on January 9, 2007, she was documented to have made slow progress and was permitted to participate in physical therapy and to bear weight on the right lower extremity only as tolerated. The patient was discharged to another facility for further skilled care and rehabilitation. That facility’s therapy department documented that the patient suffered from debilitation due to her prolonged hospital stay.

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.