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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    7

    Default Fall Injury at a Rehabilitation Facility With a History of Inattentive Care

    My question involves malpractice in the state of: PA

    Hi. I am POA for my grandmother. 4 weeks ago she fell at home and fractured her hip. After a week in the hospital and surgery, she was sent to an in-patient rehab facility. She has been there for 2 weeks. Throughout that two weeks, my grandmother has complained of inadequate treatment - specifically delays (or not even coming) when she would press her "help" button. Last night I received a call that she had fallen and broke her pelvis and left wrist. I specifically made the facility aware of her dementia issues and they assured me that they were equipped to handle her and would ensure her safety. Do we have any recourse?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    24,245

    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    Do you have proof of negligence?

    No, the injuries themselves are NOT sufficient proof.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    7

    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    I know that approximately 40 minutes passed from the time her call button was pressed and when they found her on the floor (statement from supervisor). I was told that she would have 24/7 care due to her dementia and the possibility of her wandering. I also know that she had complained at least 3 times concerning slow (or no) response to her call button use.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    24,245

    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    I'm wondering how much you can trust the time estimates of someone who has sufficient dementia to need 24/7 care (which does not, btw, mean someone right with her every minute).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    40 minutes was told to me be the facility. They know when she pushed the button (automatic time logging) and when they found her.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,814

    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    Quote Quoting WJGJR
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    40 minutes was told to me be the facility. They know when she pushed the button (automatic time logging) and when they found her.
    What explanation did they offer for the delays? In this instance where she fell, did your grandmother press the button before or after the fall? If after, the delayed response likely would not have affected the outcome of her injuries.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2016
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    7

    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    What explanation did they offer for the delays? In this instance where she fell, did your grandmother press the button before or after the fall? If after, the delayed response likely would not have affected the outcome of her injuries.
    I was told by the supervisor that the call button was pressed at 12:05am. I was told by the supervisor that she was found at 12:45 am by staff and that 911 was then called. No reason was given for any delay. I was called by the facility at 12:52am informing me that she was being taken by ambulance to the hospital. I was told that she was found at the bottom of her bed with a large amount of blood on the floor. I then received a phone call from the ER (hospital) at 5:41am informing me that she had a broken pelvis, broken wrist, and that they suspected broken ribs and were going to take more x-rays.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    Quote Quoting WJGJR
    View Post
    Throughout that two weeks, my grandmother has complained of inadequate treatment - specifically delays (or not even coming) when she would press her "help" button. Last night I received a call that she had fallen and broke her pelvis and left wrist. I specifically made the facility aware of her dementia issues and they assured me that they were equipped to handle her and would ensure her safety. Do we have any recourse?
    The only answer I can give based upon the information available is "maybe". The care facility can potentially be liable for the negligence of its employees -- so, for example, if the responsible employee was taking a nap instead of monitoring call buttons, and the fall occurred due to a resident's needs not being met in a timely manner (e.g., assistance with getting to a bathroom or getting a bedpan) then there could be a potential claim against the facility. The facility could also potentially be directly negligent, based upon such theories as maintaining a facility that was underfunded, understaffed, or with an undertrained staff such that it was providing substandard care.
    Quote Quoting WJGJR
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    I was told by the supervisor that the call button was pressed at 12:05am. I was told by the supervisor that she was found at 12:45 am by staff and that 911 was then called. No reason was given for any delay.
    When you asked, "Why was there a delay", did they respond, "No reason"? Did they shrug their shoulders?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    7

    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    When you asked, "Why was there a delay", did they respond, "No reason"? Did they shrug their shoulders?
    I was told they have lots of patients and call button use is higher at night and they got to her as soon as they were able.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Pa Inpatient Rehab Facility Injury Due to Neglect

    Then you did receive a reason, albeit one that on its face suggests that the facility has inadequate staff to handle nighttime care and a lack of a triage plan to investigate and prioritize calls from residents. While respecting the burden of false calls and calls over minor matters that might cause delay in attending to all residents' needs, it should not take forty minutes for a staff member to stick their head into a room to check to see whether the button was pressed due to a crisis or due to a non-emergency issue. If they are suggesting that a forty-minute wait for that first peek in the door is routine for nighttime care, then it's hard to see that care as adequate.

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