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Falls in Maryland Hospitals

hospitalMaking sure patients are safe is the responsibility of any health care provider. Unfortunately, each year, many patients in Maryland and throughout the United States are injured in falls that could have been prevented. These falls can seriously injure patients and interfere with their ability to make a full recovery. In fact, the fall can create entirely new medical problems for the patients. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a fall in a hospital setting, it is important to seek the help and guidance of a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, up to 40 percent of all hospital accidents are falls that could have been prevented. A report by the New England Journal of Internal Medicine highlighted that between 2.3 and seven falls happen for every 1,000 patients in hospitals. In Maryland, hospitals are required to report serious ‘adverse events’ to the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality. Level 1 adverse events are the most serious category of adverse events. The most frequently reported adverse event for 2009 was falls, comprising 52 of the Level 1 adverse events. Fourteen of these falls resulted in death.

Hospital falls can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • Falls from hospital beds because of a lack of rails
  • Falls when a patient is being transferred from a gurney or a wheelchair
  • Falls because of a physical therapist losing control of the patient
  • Falls on a wet or slippery floor
  • Falls in a bathroom or shower due to inadequate measures being taken

Under Maryland law, a hospital may be liable for medical malpractice if the hospital failed to adhere to the duty of care that another hospital in the same situation would have met. In order to win on a medical malpractice claim against the hospital, a plaintiff would need to establish that the hospital owed the patient a duty of care, the hospital breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff, the patient was injured due to the hospital’s breach, and the hospital’s mistake was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s harm and damages.

Part of determining whether a hospital was negligent may include answering the following questions. Was the patient deemed to be a fall risk when he or she was admitted into the hospital? Did the hospital staff ignore the call button when the patient pressed it? Did the hospital staff fail to routinely check up on the patient? Answers to these questions may be the key to establishing how the hospital deviated from the accepted standard of care.

Hospital falls can result in serious and long-term injuries for a patient. In some cases, hospital falls can lead to death. At the Arfaa Law Group, our diligent and hard-working Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can thoroughly examine the facts of your hospital fall case and try to get you the compensation you deserve for your harm. While we aim to settle every case as efficiently and effectively as possible, we are not afraid to zealously advocate for your rights in the courtroom. To get a free evaluation of your case, you can call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.

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