Inpatient slip and fall accidents in hospitals can cause catastrophic injuries. The possible outcomes of a slip and fall accident include broken bones, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries. However, these incidents are often preventable. There are multiple reasons why these accidents may occur in hospitals. The causes of hospital slip and fall accidents may include:
- Medication errors. Certain medications or combinations of medications can put patients at risk of being hurt. For example, some medications may cause excessive drowsiness or dizziness. Benzodiazepines and certain antipsychotic medications are good examples. Hospital staff must take precautionary measures to protect these “high-risk” patients from falling.
- Diagnostic errors. A medical misdiagnosis could contribute to a slip and fall accident. For instance, a patient with vertigo, arthritis or dehydration has an increased slip and fall risk. Patients with these risk factors would need an accurate diagnosis so they could receive the proper assistance. At-risk patients could be given additional supervision or beds with railings.
- Failure to assist at-risk patients. Patients can still be harmed in a slip and fall accident even when they receive a proper diagnosis. Let’s say, for example, that a patient complains of dizziness, but hospital staff do not take steps to prevent a slip and fall. In this case, the patient could be hurt if the proper assistance is not provided.
Are All Hospital Slip and Fall Accidents Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice claims must meet certain criteria. For slip and fall accidents, the patient must have been receiving care at the time of his or her injury. You could not file a medical malpractice claim if you were injured in a slip and fall accident while visiting a loved one who was receiving inpatient treatment. However, you might still be able to file a claim for negligence.
You could speak to a Washington DC medical malpractice lawyer at Regan Zambri Long PLLC to determine whether you have options to seek compensation. Our Washington DC injury law firm has experience with medical malpractice and premises liability cases.