Sure there are smart and thoughtful folks working in some of these facilities, but I frequently feel like patient safety is an afterthought as opposed to a priority.
Out of Washington, another prime example of poor judgment resulting in a patient injury was reported in Seattlepi.com when a nursing home patient fell from his bed allowing his leg to come into contact with the baseboard heater on the floor nearby.
The fall went undetected by nursing home staff and the man suffered third degree burns to his leg that were so severe that his leg had to be amputated below the knee.
While we can certainly say that this was an isolated event that was most unfortunate, the article reports that this was not the first time that the patient had fallen out of bed and the alarm used to notify staff when he moved from the bed was not operational.
Further, according to the article, the man has incurred $116,000 in past medical expenses and will likely incur an additional $1.4 million in future medical expenses over the course of his life.
Sadly, nursing home patients across the country continue to suffer horrific injuries due to lapses in the judgment on the part of nursing home staff. If for no reason other than to reduce the incidence of claims against the facility, staff need to be educated that every protocol regarding patient care is there for a specific reason– to keep them safe.
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