The son of a 63-year-old woman who died while recovering from a thigh operation at the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in Florida is suing the center for medical malpractice.
Vernon “Chip” Kooser was shocked to discover that the cause of Janice Kooser’s death was a “blunt force trauma” to the head. He says that the hospital never told him that his mother had fallen and hit her head on September 2. Her injury made her a high-risk candidate for a fall accident. Two days after the fall, she went into a coma. She died the following day.
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center claims that it was their night nurse that prevented Janice’s head from hitting anything other than the bed mattress.
Kooser had been hospitalized for four years. She had been characterized as physically unsteady, sometime delusional, and most of the time incoherent. On her chart, she was rated as a 31 in terms of being at risk for falling. The chart’s maximum is 30. She also reportedly had subdural hematoma, which makes a person more vulnerable to head injuries.
The medical malpractice trial is taking place this week. One issue at stake is whether the hospital did enough to prevent the fall from happening. One of the witnesses, a nursing field expert, testified that the staff took reasonable precautions to prevent the fall from happening. She says that the fall could have happened to anyone.
A doctor that has been testifying as a medical expert for the plaintiff said that staff did not follow proper protocal, which requires armbands to be fitted onto patients that are at high-risk of falling. The witness also said that the hospital did not provide a card-ex, which is a card that provides all the data about Janice’s condition.
A sign was not posted at the entrance to her hospital room notifying staffers that she was a “fall” risk. The medical expert says that the hospital could have done more to ensure that she did not leave her bed. He said that staff members should have notified Janice’s doctor about the seriousness of her fall or that she was displaying certain symptoms, such as not using the morphine pump to relieve her pain, not eating, and being nonresponsive.
Janice fell while trying to leave her bed to use the restroom.
Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and are medical providers most provide all patients with a certain quality and level of medical care. Failure to do so can result in an medical malpractice claim or lawsuit if a patient is injured or dies because of negligence or carelessness.
Common causes for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit:
• Wrong diagnosis
• Failure to diagnose
• Surgical mistakes
• Prescription errors
• Failure to provide the proper care
• Not providing the proper information on a patient’s medical chart
• Medical negligence
• Lack of informed consent
• Delayed diagnosis
• Nursing care errors
• Physician error
• Hospital errors
The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in Florida is two years from the time that the injured patient or family members found out that an injury occurred because of medical malpractice.
FWB Medical Center facing malpractice lawsuit for woman's death, Northwest Florida Daily News, September 26, 2007
Related Web Resources:
Medical Malpractice, Public Citizen