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  1. #1
    grammy2tyler is offline Junior Member
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    Is the Hospital and nursing staff to be held responsible?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    My Mother-in-law is 80 yrs old. Recently she was hositalized for blood pressure and Heart problems. I have been taking care of her for 2 & 1/2 yrs now and have General Power of attorney, soon to be getting Medical POA.

    Here's the problem, The day she was hospitalized I stayed with her for 30 min. or so and had explained to the nurse that was stationed for her that I had POA and the she was unable to make decisions rationally therefore I obtained POA and I was to be consulted on all matters. I also informed her that she was unable to walk without assistance of a walker and aide from someone or a wheelchair. I Expressidly told the nurse this over and over and over again to be shure she knew because My Husband was at home with pneumonia and I had to run back to my home for some hours to cook, clean, and medicate him. Then to return back to sit all night with my mother-in-law to ease the nurses load and help her myself.

    Well She was checked in around 12:45 to a room, I left at 1:15 to care for husband. Before I left I again reminded the nurse the she needed assistance to go even to the bathroom, and be sure to take care of her. She assured me that she would be ok and to go do what I had to do.

    I returned at 8:36 pm. went upstairs to find the had just picked her up off the floor. She seemed to be ok at the moment, but she has demensia and at 80 yrs. Even if she was hurt she could'nt really understand how to tell them.

    They asked her (before i got there) if she was ok and she said yes.

    THEY TOOK HER AT HER WORD AND DID NOT ORDER ANY X-RAYS.
    AN ELDERLY WOMAN FALLS, YOU ORDER X-RAYS.
    I HAD TO GET THEM TO ORDER X-RAYS, IN HER FALL SHE COULD HAVE BROKEN HER HIP, HIT HER HEAD, BROKE RIBS AND THEY DIDN'T ORDER X-RAYS.

    While I am waiting for the orders to go out I notice she is Very uncomfortable and moving her leg as if in pain. I asked her and she said that her knee hurt really bad, so I had to ask the nurse to give her something for the pain. There was another Nurse in there (that had helped her off the floor) that had said something that really upset me. You know how you get those water pitchers and a cup for the patients, with kleenex etc... Just something to help the patient feel comfortable. (and we all appreciate those)

    She asked the nurse where my Mother-in-laws water pitcher was and the nurse replied that she had been too busy to get her on. TOO BUSY? EXCUSE ME? NO ONE HAD BEEN IN HER ROOM FOR 7 HRS TO EVEN CHECK ON HER, NO WATER, NOTHING.....WHO CARES THAT SHE IS 80?
    CAN'T WALK WITHOUT A WALKER AND ASSISTANCE?
    THE NURSE WAS SOOOOO BUSY FOR 7 WHOLE HOURS? PAAAALEASE.

    This is neglect right?
    what should I do? never in my life had i experienced this.

    I was so Upset that I kept telling the nurse I was not happy, I made shure my mother-in-law was comfortable and I went down stairs to cool off. I was so hurt for her, and i didn't want her to see me cry. while down stairs I wished to issue a complaint to the Nurses Head person and she sait that no one had even told her that it had happened and was going to check into it.

    The next Day someone came from the board of directors office to get a record od my complaint and asked me what they could do to make things better for us? At the time I was so infurriated that I told him to just retrain thae Nursing staff for compassion. and he asked me this same question 3 to 4 times. Then he told me I was being too nice.

    What did he mean by TOO NICE?

    Well do I have a case?
  2. #2
    longsally111 is offline Member
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    huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by grammy2tyler View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Texas

    [B]My Mother-in-law is 80 yrs old. Recently she was hositalized for blood pressure and Heart problems. I have been taking care of her for 2 & 1/2 yrs now and have General Power of attorney, soon to be getting Medical POA.

    so, right now, you do not have POA, ok, got it.

    [/B] Here's the problem, The day she was hospitalized I stayed with her for 30 min. or so and had explained to the nurse that was stationed for her that I had POA and the she was unable to make decisions rationally therefore I obtained POA and I was to be consulted on all matters. I also informed her that she was unable to walk without assistance of a walker and aide from someone or a wheelchair. I Expressidly told the nurse this over and over and over again to be shure she knew because My Husband was at home with pneumonia and I had to run back to my home for some hours to cook, clean, and medicate him. Then to return back to sit all night with my mother-in-law to ease the nurses load and help her myself.

    ok, you told the nurse your info and left, ok, got it.

    Well She was checked in around 12:45 to a room, I left at 1:15 to care for husband. Before I left I again reminded the nurse the she needed assistance to go even to the bathroom, and be sure to take care of her. She assured me that she would be ok and to go do what I had to do.

    ok, you told the time line, ok, got it.

    I returned at 8:36 pm. went upstairs to find the had just picked her up off the floor. She seemed to be ok at the moment, but she has demensia and at 80 yrs. Even if she was hurt she could'nt really understand how to tell them.

    ok, so she got up probably without calling anyone and fell. They got her up, assessed her and found no injuries.

    They asked her (before i got there) if she was ok and she said yes.

    how could they have asked her before you got there if she was ok when they were just picking her up when you arrived?

    THEY TOOK HER AT HER WORD AND DID NOT ORDER ANY X-RAYS.
    AN ELDERLY WOMAN FALLS, YOU ORDER X-RAYS.
    I HAD TO GET THEM TO ORDER X-RAYS, IN HER FALL SHE COULD HAVE BROKEN HER HIP, HIT HER HEAD, BROKE RIBS AND THEY DIDN'T ORDER X-RAYS.


    this statement is incorrect. You do not just order x-rays if someone falls. If she stood up afterwards and walked and did not cpomplain of pain, no facial grimacing, no non-verbal s/s, there is no need to order x-rays.

    While I am waiting for the orders to go out I notice she is Very uncomfortable and moving her leg as if in pain. I asked her and she said that her knee hurt really bad, so I had to ask the nurse to give her something for the pain. There was another Nurse in there (that had helped her off the floor) that had said something that really upset me. You know how you get those water pitchers and a cup for the patients, with kleenex etc... Just something to help the patient feel comfortable. (and we all appreciate those)

    She asked the nurse where my Mother-in-laws water pitcher was and the nurse replied that she had been too busy to get her on. TOO BUSY? EXCUSE ME? NO ONE HAD BEEN IN HER ROOM FOR 7 HRS TO EVEN CHECK ON HER, NO WATER, NOTHING.....WHO CARES THAT SHE IS 80?
    CAN'T WALK WITHOUT A WALKER AND ASSISTANCE?
    THE NURSE WAS SOOOOO BUSY FOR 7 WHOLE HOURS? PAAAALEASE
    .

    you do not know that no one was in the room to check on her. All you know is that they didnt deliver a water pitcher to her.

    This is neglect right?
    what should I do? never in my life had i experienced this.


    you have to prove neglect and prove damages.

    I was so Upset that I kept telling the nurse I was not happy, I made shure my mother-in-law was comfortable and I went down stairs to cool off. I was so hurt for her, and i didn't want her to see me cry. while down stairs I wished to issue a complaint to the Nurses Head person and she sait that no one had even told her that it had happened and was going to check into it.

    ok, you reported it to the hospital, ok, got it.

    The next Day someone came from the board of directors office to get a record od my complaint and asked me what they could do to make things better for us? At the time I was so infurriated that I told him to just retrain thae Nursing staff for compassion. and he asked me this same question 3 to 4 times. Then he told me I was being too nice.

    the reason he asked you that over and over was he wanted to know what it was you were after.

    What did he mean by TOO NICE?

    Well do I have a case?


    no, no case. You would have to prove negligence which you cannot do in the first place. In the second case, you are not the POA so you dont have anything. Your mother in law must have damages and suffered some sort of loss ( physical or monetary ) to get damages. So she fell, it was reported and she is ok and you want to sue? sorry, no case here.
  3. #3
    Ozark_Sophist is offline Senior Member
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    In the future, ask to have a bed alarm put in place.
  4. #4
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    It is highly unlikely that no one checked on her for the whole time you were gone. And on the other hand, it's not possible for someone to be at her bedside 24/7. If you want that, you have to either be there yourself, or pay for a private nurse or nurse's aid to babysit her. If she got confused and tried to get out of bed without calling for someone, she could have fallen before someone could get to her - even if she'd had a bed alarm (though that wouldn't hurt). No negligence as the standard of care does not require someone to be in the room with her at all times.

    And no, you don't just order hundreds of dollars in x-rays because an old person falls. You call in a doctor or someone qualified to perform a physical exam to see if x-rays are NEEDED. Check the range of motion, signs of pain, etc. If she'd broken her hip, it's unlikely she would have been able to stand up afterwards. But they hadn't even had a chance to call in a doc before you got there since the fall had just happened.

    Also keep in mind that until you get that POA you have NO legal rights in this situation, you're not even a blood relative.

    Bottom line, if she needs constant supervision, and you aare unable to provide it yourself, you need to hire someone specifically for it. The hospital can't and is not required to provide this.
  5. #5
    lya
    lya is offline Senior Member
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    grammy2tyler brought the patient to the hospital and is/was identified as the primary caregiver; therefore, the staff can and will discuss the patient's care with her. The POA is necessary for authorizing procedures if the patient cannot authorize the same and/or if a next-of-kin is not available. It may even be that grammy2tyler would have been allowed to authorize a procedure; that depends on the situation and the urgency of the situation.

    X-rays after falls are not routinely performed without the presence of a need (suspected injury).

    Water pitchers are no longer used in any of the facilities with which I am familiar. The risk of giving the pitcher to the wrong patient and the occurrences of such errors have removed water pitchers from bedsides. Disposable, one-time use large "cups" are provided.

    JCAHO, which also represents Medicare and Medicaid, requires that a fall assessment be done on admission and every shift, thereafter. (the required fall assessment interval may have increased to every 4 hours--I'm not sure if that's facility specific of JCAHO standard) If the fall risk is anything but "low" or zero, measures to prevent falls must be identified and documented and put into place. Preventing falls in an 80 year-old patient with dementia will most likely preclude any type of bedside water container because of the increase in fall risks. The patient has to be offered water at every intervention by all disciplines of caregivers; so does toileting.

    The patient and grammy2tyler had/have no duty to request a bed alarm. That intervention should have been identified on the admission fall assessment and promptly implemented. A bed alarm does not prevent falls; it only gets the staff to the room more quickly than if a bed alarm was not in place, which supposedly reduces the risks of falls.

    Once the patient fell, a sitter should have been provided. Your healthcare costs are increased by hospitals' requirement to provide sitters whether or not the patient has the ability to pay for one. A family member at the bedside is the preferred method; one reason is that the patient is familiar with the family member.

    The fall is required to be reported to JCAHO, who will review the documentation and will determine if its standards were met. If the standards were not met, JCAHO will require a corrective plan of action and will follow up. If the facility's incidence of falls is high and if the corrective plan is not adequate, Medicare and Medicaid will reduce funding for patient care--that means future patients with insurance or paying privately will experience an increase in their healthcare costs and your state and federal tax money will help to offset the financial loss to the hospital.

    Only a review of the records and possibly interview with the staff can determine if negligence occurred. Remember, falls cannot be prevented; reducing the risks of falls is all that is possible or required. Not having a bedside water container is not an act of negligence. Failing to keep the patient adequately hydrated is an act of negligence and we have no reason to even suspect such in this event.

    Even though the description of events leads one to suspect negligence, there is/was no damage to the patient; therefore, a viable claim of medmal would not exist.
    Last edited by lya; 03-11-2009 at 02:17 PM.

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