A previous post here discussed how the most frequent “never event” in Missouri hospitals and nursing facilities are patient falls. As this previous post discussed, although relative common, this does not make patient falls minor, as the average payout for a fall was well over $100,000. Indeed, particularly when an elderly or frail person falls, broken bones, soft tissue injuries and even traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries are all real possibilities.

Moreover, it seems that falling leads to an overall decline in a person’s health. A fall requires a senior citizen to take it easy or even stay off their feet for weeks or even months, which can lead to both physical and emotional problems. Since they are out of the habit of moving regularly, they are much more prone to falling again

The reason falls are called “never events” is that they really should never happen if medical staff are paying attention and exercising the proper safety protocols. In short, there really is no good excuse for a patient fall.

Nevertheless, millions of people do fall, many of whom are under the care of a hospital or nursing facility. These facilities have an obligation to take basic steps to prevent falling. In addition to making sure that patients have good footwear, sturdy, dry surfaces and well-lighted spaces to walk, professionals should also make sure that their medications are appropriate adjusted so as to reduce the likelihood of falls.

When a person’s loved one falls and gets hurt in a medical facility, it can mean that a family will accumulate unexpected medical bills. Additionally, it causes a lot of emotional turmoil. It is important to understand the available legal options.