The injuries resulting from a slip-and-fall accident can be dangerous in any setting. From slipping on a wet spot in your corner grocery store to tripping over a section of broken sidewalk, an individual can tear ligaments and break bones. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for individuals to fall while under the care of a physician or emergency room nurse. If you have fallen in a hospital or healthcare facility, can this be considered medical negligence?
Could sub-standard care have led to the fall? Was a missed diagnosis to blame? Are there certain elements that might point to medical negligence rather than simple carelessness?
In general, there are three situations which might result in a patient falling in a medical facility that could ultimately be construed as doctor negligence:
- Polypharmacy: In an effort to alleviate various conditions, medical professionals might prescribe different medications aimed at different symptoms. This is referred to as polypharmacy. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for these medications to interact with each other and result in a loss of balance unfortunately making the patient unsteady on his or her feet.
- Failure to diagnose or the misdiagnosis of a condition: There are numerous afflictions that can lead to motor-coordination challenges and the increasing loss of balance. If a doctor fails to realize that a patient has suffered a stroke, for example, the patient might be struggling with confusion and limited mobility. Additionally, a patient left in bed without safety rails might fall due to the lack of proper restraint.
- Failure to properly assess risk: Being able to properly assess a patient’s risk factors is key to ensuring safety – – no matter if you are in a hospital, urgent care center, emergency room or other medical facility. Medical professionals must note patient complaints such as dizziness as well as the possibility of dehydration when acting to prevent serious falls.
When a doctor or other care provider has given treatment or failed to recognize a dangerous condition that led to a fall, that medical profession might be liable for damages. These can be confusing cases, however, with complex scenarios. It is wise to discuss your medical negligence questions with a skilled attorney who can provide the legal advice and guidance you need.