Another Heater Incident At Nursing Home Results In Burns & Amputation Of Patients Leg
We babyproof our houses because we know babies are vulnerable. We don't generally turn on baseboards unless they're supervised 100% of the time. Why is it any different if you have a senior citizen that you know is immobile. The same dangers apply. Yet, nursing homes all over allow issues that are simple to fix cause overwhelming damage. In court, we're not allowed to make a golden rule argument. We're not allowed to ask the jury to put themselves in this man's shoes. But this isn't court. Picture yourself confused and hurt from a fall you suffered, unable to pull your leg away from a heater as it slowly burns into you.
Makes you cringe, right?
I try to do that with every case, put myself in the shoes of the client. I'm a visual learner, and if I put the story in my head as a movie, I know what gaps I will need to fill in for the jury. I know what grabs me personally and try to get an idea of what will grab a jury.
Anyhow, I go off point. This makes me sad, this movie in my head.
One of the things that I am continually reminded about in nursing home injury cases is just how much just plain rotten judgment is made by nursing home staff.
Sure there are smart and thoughtful folks working in some of these facilities, but I frequently feel like patient safety is an afterthought as opposed to a priority.
Out of Washington, another prime example of poor judgment resulting in a patient injury was reported in Seattlepi.com when a nursing home patient fell from his bed allowing his leg to come into contact with the baseboard heater on the floor nearby.
The fall went undetected by nursing home staff and the man suffered third degree burns to his leg that were so severe that his leg had to be amputated below the knee.
While we can certainly say that this was an isolated event that was most unfortunate, the article reports that this was not the first time that the patient had fallen out of bed and the alarm used to notify staff when he moved from the bed was not operational.
Further, according to the article, the man has incurred $116,000 in past medical expenses and will likely incur an additional $1.4 million in future medical expenses over the course of his life.
Sadly, nursing home patients across the country continue to suffer horrific injuries due to lapses in the judgment on the part of nursing home staff. If for no reason other than to reduce the incidence of claims against the facility, staff need to be educated that every protocol regarding patient care is there for a specific reason-- to keep them safe.
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