Hospital Falls Can Be Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Mistakes

When a patient falls in a hospital, is that medical malpractice?  It sounds like a slip and fall, because it is, but it also sounds like it is the fault of the patient.  After all, don’t people walk for themselves and fall on their own mistakes?  Don’t people fall because they lose balance? Or because they do not pay attention?

Not exactly!

Hospital falls can be medical malpractice in certain circumstances.  This is where a patient is known as a fall risk.  This could be a patient who is having balance issue like vertigo.  This could be patients who have hip or leg injuries.  Or patients with vision problems.  Patients who have problems ambulating due to age, fragile, or other conditions.  Patients could also be ill and sick, weak and unable to walk.

These kinds of patients need to be protected from falls.  They need to be protected from themselves!

Hospitals have protocols to identify those patients and to protect them.  In hospital policies and procedures, they have certain things they need to identify and do to protect patients and protect their safety from falls.  When a patient is identified as a fall risk, they need to receive this special care and assistance in walking, going to the bathroom, and otherwise standing up.  These are important and really are for the safety of the patient.

If a patient identified as a fall risks does fall—even if the patient is disobeying the rules and walking up out of bed when he or she should not be, that is medical malpractice on the hospital’s part.  Even if the patient is the one that falls on the ground for no reason.  The hospital must protect these patients.