Patient Falls in Hospital

By: Kelda Doherty

An 81-year-old retiree who presented himself to Mount Sinai Hospital reached a settlement of $850,000 after falling while unassisted on the way to the bathroom. The man who was admitted to undergo a laryngectomy suffered serious head injuries as a result of the fall. A CT and MRI scan revealed skull fracture, bleeding in the brain and a subdural hematoma which is usually associated with traumatic brain injury.

The plaintiff argued that staff at Queens Hospital failed to properly assess his risk of falling and failed to properly monitor/ observe him, which constituted medical malpractice. The plaintiff also claimed that he had informed staff he had suffered dizziness on arrival at the Queens Hospital. An expert nurse for the plaintiff said that his dizziness should have led to a treatment plan, which included safeguards against falling, such as a nurse accompanying the plaintiff to the bathroom and that failure to do so constituted negligent practice.