Patient Who Declined Use of Lift Fell in Facility; $1.5M Verdict

July 9, 2021 | Aging Services Risk Management


​A jury in Alabama awarded $1.5 million to a plaintiff who claimed that a patient at risk for falls sustained a fractured ankle and knee because a Hoyer lift was not used to assist him, even though he had declined use of the lift, according to a summary in the December 2020 issue of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. The patient, who was admitted to the hospital for nausea and vomiting, was later transferred to a transitional care unit for physical and occupational therapy. The patient was identified as being at high risk for falls; however, he refused the use of a Hoyer lift, telling a nurse he was able to stand and walk by himself. The nurse helped him to use the commode and left to give him privacy. When the nurse returned to help clean him, the patient's leg buckled and he slid to the floor.

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