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Medical malpractice: Unreported fall in nursing home

Many families in Kentucky know all too well the heartbreak of having to admit a loved one into a full-time nursing facility. It is a difficult decision to make, and families have to trust medical professionals to care for their loved one. Unfortunately, medical malpractice occurs in nursing homes on a regular basis, which often results in harm to its patients. Recently, a man died 36 hours after an unreported fall at his nursing home.

The 87-year-old man was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and had been living at the home for about a year prior to the fall. Upon visiting the patient one morning, his family found him with slurred speech. Reportedly, the patient told his family that he fell and hit his head, but the nursing staff denied any fall. Concerned about his health, his family had him transferred to a nearby medical treatment center where a fatal brain bleed was discovered. Unfortunately, the bleed was too advanced to offer any life-saving medical treatment.

The Massachusetts nursing facility's own investigation revealed that a fall had occurred but policy had not been followed. Reportedly, the nurse on duty instructed a nurse's aid not inform anyone of the fall and to proceed as if nothing had occurred. The patient's family has reported the incident and the home to the state's Department of Public Health. According to the family, the patient was a known risk for falls, and they accuse the facility of historically refusing to use some movement alarms that may have prevented his fall.

Losing a loved unexpectedly is very difficult, and learning the death may have been a result of medical malpractice is certainly devastating. Some families may find solace in knowing that there are legal options they may pursue against alleged negligent parties. Attorneys in Kentucky can advise families of their rights and options to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. 

Source: telegram.com, "State investigates death of Worcester nursing home patient", Elaine Thompson, Aug 31, 2017

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