Another Example Of Nursing Home Negligence: Disabled Patient Falls Down Unsecured Stairway

stairway.jpgSometimes I see news stories with such common fact patterns that I have to look at the date of the report as I frequently ask myself, “didn’t I just see this article?”

Unfortunately, the cycle of negligent nursing home care continues with seemingly never ending cycles of stories about patient injury and death.

And yes, many of these do have an erry resemblance to one another.  If there’s one thread of similarity amongst many of these stories, it’s that the majority of these occurrences could likely have been avoided with a small dose of adequate judgment.

Amongst the pattern of disturbing care-related problems is when facilities fail to monitor their stairwells. Of course most building codes require facilities to have stairwells in cases of emergency or should the elevators become unusable, but when facilities fail to secure stairwells, there frequently is a tragic outcome.

In this sense, I was saddened to read about a recent stairway fall involving a disabled nursing home patient who died from injuries sustained in the fall.  According to a recent Los Angeles Times blog, the patients family has recently filed a civil lawsuit against the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s nursing home’s alleging the facility was negligence in allowing the patients access to the stairway where she fell.

The patient identified as 89-year-old Carrie Daley suffered from Alzheimer’s and other physical maladies that confined her to a wheelchair.  Ms. Daley’s fall resulted in multiple injuries, including a fractured spine, that ultimately contributed to her death shortly following the fall.

Significantly, nursing home falls such as this, are not that unusual at this facility. The Times report that the fund has been cited for similar incidents in the past. The California Department of Public Health fined the facility $10,000 for failing to prevent the falls of an Alzheimer’s patient and separate $7,500 fine against the fund for failing to prevent the head injury of another patient at the facility.

Certainly, its safe to say that this facility is not doing an adequate job monitoring the safety of its patients– from commonly encountered dangers such allowing patients unrestricted access to stairway and failing to engage the locks on wheelchairs.

By the way, speaking of patterns of similar events, here are some recent entries regarding nursing home patients falling down stairways….

Fall Leaves Veteran With Broken Neck In Illinois Nursing Home

Wheelchair-Bound Nursing Home Patients Must Be Properly Supervised To Avoid Injury

Some Medical Conditions Virtually Guarantee Elderly Of Falls In Nursing Homes

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