Case #4047 Failure to Restrain Patient With Mental Illness Results in Accident
On May 29, the Plaintiff was admitted to the Defendant Nursing Home for convalescent care and treatment. It is alleged that the Plaintiff was 52 years of age and had a history of mental confusion, disorientation, and acting as a danger to himself. In fact, it is alleged that he had been transferred to the Defendant institution from the Defendant Hospital, with accompanying medical records confirming the fact that the Plaintiff required restraints to prevent him from causing injury to himself.
Further, it is alleged that the Plaintiff’s family, prior to permitting him to come to the Defendant Nursing Home institution, met with representatives of the Defendant Nursing Home. At that time, they explained their brother’s condition in depth and specifically indicated that he was disoriented, confused and had a propensity for attempting to harm and/or injure himself. The family indicated that their brother needed to be restrained and required close surveillance so that he did not injure himself. Further, there were two specific conversations concerning windows and/or balconies. The family discussed the fact that their brother had to be in a secure environment away from access to open windows and/or balconies. In response, duly authorized agents and/or employees of the Defendants repeatedly assured the family that the facility was secure and an appropriate place for their brother to reside. Further, they indicated that windows were locked and secured so that it would be impossible for the Plaintiff to gain access to an open window or balcony from which he could fall.
Relying on the assurances of the Defendants’ representatives, the family signed the necessary documents and had their brother transferred from the hospital in which he was confined to the Defendant institution on May 29,. On that same day, it is alleged that on the day of admission, the Plaintiff was found wandering about the institution. Further, he was agitated and refused his medication. Contrary to the standards of care, no restraints were used, no 24 hour surveillance was employed and, further, no physician was called for any form of medical and/or other intervention.
On May 30, the Plaintiff continued in a profoundly confused state. At this time, he was found wandering about the institution and pulling linens off of his roommate’s bed. He was incoherent and refused care. Again, contrary to the standards of care, no restraints were utilized, no surveillance was employed, and no physician intervention occurred.
On May 31, and June 1, the Plaintiff continued in his same state of mental disorientation. He remained incoherent, refused care, and continued with his abnormal behavior.
On June 1, at approximately 10:00 p.m., the Plaintiff was found agitated and pulling linens off of the bed of his roommate in the institution. Again, contrary to the standards of care, no restraints were utilized, and no physician was contacted, no intervention was employed. The Plaintiff was essentially left to his own devices unrestrained, and not under any surveillance.
At approximately 11:00 p.m., representatives of the Defendant were informed that the Plaintiff was found on the pavement in the alley way behind the institution. Upon investigating, institutional personnel found that the Plaintiff had opened a window which was not locked and secured in an appropriate fashion, and simply jumped out of a fifth story window — falling five stories to the pavement below.
It is alleged that the Plaintiff survived the fall and was transported to another hospital via ambulance at which time he underwent twelve hours of surgery for severe injuries which left him in critical condition. His injuries included, but were not limited to, fractures of the ankle; knee cap; hip (requiring a hip replacement); fracture of the pelvis; fractures of the left leg; and left arm; and so many internal injuries that they are too numerous to list.
It is alleged that the Plaintiff’s injuries were so severe that he required hospitalization at the other hospital for a two month period of time, after which he was finally able to leave the institution for further and ongoing care at a long-term care facility.