Hospital Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers
Whether you are a patient or a visitor at a hospital, slipping and falling in a hospital can lead to serious injuries. If you are a patient, the fall may have been due to medical malpractice or the hospital may have demonstrated ordinary negligence by not addressing known fall hazards. Many patients should be placed on “fall precautions,” which are guidelines to be followed by the medical staff to ensure a patient does not suffer a fall. If a patient should have been placed on fall precautions and was not, the medical staff may have breached the standard of care and could be liable for medical malpractice.
Standard fall precautions include keeping the bed in low position with the bed rails up and having the call button in reach. Additional measures may include noting “High Risk for Falls” on the patient’s chart, wristband, door, in the room, and other areas to alert all hospital staff of the need to closely monitor the patient. Confused or delirious patients may require a bed alarm or even restraints. Staff should also perform more frequent rounds and ensure that the patient is positioned comfortably, has all needed items within reach, and that toileting needs are addressed in a timely fashion. Additionally, the patient should be provided with skid-free socks or slippers and hospital gowns should be fitted so as not to pose a risk for tripping.
Generally, hospital staff should maintain the hospital environment to prevent an increased risk for falls: spills should be wiped up immediately, there should be adequate lighting, all hospital furniture should be sturdy and in good repair, grab bars should be present in the bathroom, and IV poles should be sturdy with IV tubing out of the way during ambulation.
If you have suffered a fall in a hospital, contact one of the experienced lawyers at Burnside Law Firm LLP for a free initial consultation.