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Medical Malpractice: Verdicts, Settlements, & Experts

In March 2016, Plaintiff's decedent presented to defendant hospital with complaints of ten day old cold-like symptoms, shortness of breath, and a cough. Decedent was diagnosed with bilateral lobe pneumonia. He required assistance going to the bathroom, and getting in and out of bed. On the second day of his hospitalization, the decedent fell out of bed. His bedrails were not up at the time. Around 2:00 AM, a nurse found the decedent on the ground with complaints of severe hip pain.

A PA noted that the decedent was unable to actively flex his left hip and attempts at rotation to the left hip were painful. A portable x-ray demonstrated a partially visualized femoral neck fracture. At around 8:00 am, the PA ordered an X-ray of the decedent's pelvis to demonstrate the full damage to his hip.

The hospital informed the decedent's family of his fall. The following day, the decedent's daughter-in-law found the decedent still in considerable pain. When asked, a nurse on duty said that the decedent hadn't been taken to get his x-ray yet because hospital staff “forgot”.

A subsequent x-ray demonstrated a left femoral neck fracture sustained from the fall. An orthopedic surgeon recommended a bipolar hemiarthroplasty to repair the hip fracture. Four days later, the decedent was discharged from the hospital and transferred to a nursing facility for physical therapy. Following the fall, the decedent's health deteriorated rapidly, and he required twenty-four hour care. He died in July 2016. The case settled for an undisclosed amount.

Charles E. Rawlings, M.D, J.D, of the Rawlings Law Firm, for the Plaintiff.

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