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Hospital Malpractice Lawyer Nathan Hughey – Falls and Fractures

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South Carolina Hospital Malpractice Lawyer Nathan Hughey

Today I am in a mediation involving a Hughey Law Firm injury lawyers client of mine who is a purple heart veteran, having served in the military for over 24 years. He was wounded in Vietnam after volunteering to go out into the fields when radio communication was lost.

Charleston Hospital Malpractice Lawyer Nathan Hughey

He went to Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) Roper hospital for hip replacement surgery. While there, he fell three days in a row, and he suffered another hip fracture as well as dislocation of the original hardware from surgery. Despite writing his bills off, Roper Hospital denied liability for the claim.

Hughey Law Firm Hospital Fall Lawyers

My (South Carolina hospital malpractice lawyer Nathan Hughey) client, as a post surgical candidate, was a fall risk. Nonetheless, he was placed in a room as far as possible from the nurses station. Hughey Law Firm’s client was given Lortab 7.5mg for pain. Lortab can cause, of course, disorientation, dizziness, hallucinations, and a variety of other problems. The nurse could’t remember if she had ever bothered to read their policies and procedures. After each fall, the outcome was the same – basically rely on the patient to call for help if the patient needed to get up.

South Carolina hospital fall lawyer Nathan Hughey’s client was documented to suffer from hallucinations and in fact thought people were coming out of his television set.

Charleston falls lawyer Nathan Hughey

The website says, “every moment matters” and in this case it sure did. By failing to update the care plan, recognizing the need for 1 on 1 supervision, yet not providing it, my client suffered more injuries affecting his life and ability to ambulate than the injuries for which he sustained a Purple Heart in Vietnam.

Lawyers have to be very careful in what we say advertising-wise. Hospitals, apparently, do not. Roper says:

  • Recognized for its leading edge technology and best practices, Roper Hospital builds on a long legacy of excellence. Today, Roper Hospital is one of the most trusted names in healthcare in the Lowcountry. The hospital has won numerous national awards for quality patient care and enjoys an excellent reputation for providing state-of-the-art health services.

Mount Pleasant Lawyer Nathan Hughey

  • Advertising materials state: Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) has always been committed to the highest standards of business conduct and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. This commitment reflects our belief that the best way for the system, and the individuals who are part of RSFH, to fulfill our mission is for us to be honest, ethical, and fair in our business practices and personal behavior.

In this case, the nurse caring for Hughey Law Firm’s hospital client could not even recall if she had seen the policies and procedures of Roper. When our client fell, the nurse did not update the care plan. In fact, on the weekends, apparently the post-surgical patients can be moved to ether floors in order to save money. That means a whole new set of disorientation for these patients. Finally, it also means a new set of caregivers / nurses who might not be familiar with the patient.

Our client was to be cared for in “an environment conducive to providing exceptional patient care” according to Roper.

  • Roper provides an “Excellent patient experience caring for the whole you . . .Roper St. Francis has been a leader in providing innovative and quality health care since its founding, upholding its commitment to being the most trusted provider of health care services in the area for the benefit of our patients, physicians and employees.”
  • “For generations, Roper St. Francis has been trusted with the health of our community. We understand the importance of your health and that of those you love–it’s at the center of everything we do. It’s why every moment matters” per Roper’s YouTube site. because we believe every moment of care is life changing” and “thats why every bedside minute gets our full attention.”

Preventable Falls

Our client was actually noted to be “walking down the hall” with his bed-alarm going off (a device designed to prevent falls in the first place, which makes a very loud noise).  This means that he had time to get up, at 76 years old, just having had surgery, and shuffle down the hall, with an alarm going off that would have started going off as soon as he was getting out of his bed.  He’s not a sprinter.

Roper acknowledges that “Most falls  . . . can often be prevented” and discusses the impact it can have on seniors.

  • Each year thousands of older men and women are disabled, sometimes permanently, by falls that result in broken bones. Yet small changes in homes and lifestyles can prevent such falls.
  • The changes associated with aging include a decrease in visual acuity, hearing, muscle strength, balance, coordination, and reflexes. These changes can make people more likely to fall.
  • Older people also are more likely to have disorders that may affect their balance, such as diabetes and conditions of the heart, blood vessels, nervous system, and thyroid. In addition, they often take medications that may cause dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Older age increases the risk for falling because your senses dim and your nervous system begins to deteriorate. You can’t see as well. The balance mechanism in your ears becomes less accurate.

If all those things are true, then giving a guy medication – narcotics – and placing him in an unfamiliar room alone is probably not on the list of things that make sense.

It is a lot more fun being on the side of trying to help someone, than defending a healthcare provider that makes those kind of claims and has an outcome like that for our client.  If you claim you are the best, and preach honesty and accountability, provide it.

Our Code of Conduct: The Right Thing to Do

 

 

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