Hospital patient dies after receiving delayed treatment for fall

Joliet families understand that as their loved ones age and begin to suffer multiple health problems, the days they have left with their loved ones may be numbered. However, families also understand that their loved ones may live longer when their health conditions are properly monitored and treated.

When hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and nursing staff do not look after and care for patients as they should, vulnerable patients could be harmed in an incident that might have otherwise been prevented. For example, about a year and a half ago, an elderly hospital patient fell as he was walking to use the restroom. The man suffered more than just a bruise or broken bone from the fall; the man was knocked unconscious and a cut on his face had caused him to lose a significant amount of blood.

The hospital patient was supposed to receive help from staff to use the restroom, but these duties were neglected, the man’s family claims. The patient’s family is now filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital for not properly monitoring the patient, which led to his fatal injuries.

The patient was admitted to a New York hospital on June 1, 2011. According to the lawsuit, the hospital knew that the patient had a higher risk of falling, but the hospital failed to issue the proper bracelet for the patient to indicate the risk to all workers. When the patient used the restroom on June 3, a nurse did assist him to the restroom, but the nurse did not watch the patient. While the nurse was looking away, the patient fell and he hit his head on the floor.

After the patient fell, the nurse called for help. However, it took staff 16 minutes to intubate the patient. Because so much time had passed, the patient’s brain was severely deprived of oxygen. He died one day after the incident. The incident was investigated and the state Department of Health did find that the hospital made several errors that could have been avoided. The family is requesting compensation for the tragic incident.

Source: The Post-Standard, “St. Joseph’s Hospital faces lawsuit in Auburn man’s fall and death,” Jim O’Hara, Jan. 24, 2013

  • Our firm provides counsel to families who have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our Joliet medical malpractice lawyer page.

Wrongful Death


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