Wheelchair Brakes and Nursing Home Fall: New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical Malpractice Mistakes, Nursing Home Negligence

Understanding How Wheelchair Brakes and Nursing Homes Could Result in Liability for a Facility: Explained by our New York medical malpractice Lawyer

Wheelchairs perform a great service and allow individuals who are having trouble ambulating to be able to move around and continue to have some freedom and independence.  Many wheelchairs today are very advanced and perform a great service for individuals by protecting them too.  This includes many safety features such as monitoring a patient’s heart, holding oxygen, and even having a seat alarm when they are trying to stand up without help.  But the most basic safety feature is a wheelchair brake. This simply stops the wheelchair from rolling when a person is standing up or sitting down.  It is basic and does just what you would think it does.  Unfortunately, many nursing home falls occur due to improper usage of wheelchair brakes in a nursing home.  This could be New York medical malpractice.

Why could there be liability?

Because a nursing home staff member is generally required to help a resident in and out of a wheelchair if that resident is a fall risk.  Considering that the resident is already in a wheelchair, it is highly likely that the resident is already considered a fall risk.  This means that staff must provide special attention to residents.  

The use of a wheelchair brake is a basic way that a nursing home staff member can ensure the resident is not injured.  The brake is a way to reduce the fall risk of an already fall-vulnerable resident.  When a nursing home staff member fails to use a wheelchair brake and a resident falls from a wheelchair, especially a resident who is a fall risk, there could be liable on the nursing home for improper, inadequate, reckless, careless, and downright negligent care of a resident.  Most times all that is needed to occur is a wheelchair brake.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.