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Can a fall be considered medical negligence?

Whether you are at home, in a shopping mall or on the street, injuries caused by falling can be severe. When the fall is caused by factors out of your control, however, the injuries might seem needless and frustrating. If the fall occurs in a hospital or other medical facility, medical negligence might be a contributing factor.

The CDC has identified numerous conditions that might contribute to a fall accident. The risk factors can include:

  • Lower body weakness
  • Vision or balance impairment
  • Physical challenges to walking
  • Use of medications that might lead to fatigue or balance issues

If the fall occurs in a hospital, clinic, urgent care facility or nursing home, could sub-standard care have led to the injury? There are two common situations where a patient or resident’s fall could be traced to medical malpractice.

  • Polypharmacy: It is not uncommon for patients to be prescribed multiple medications to be taken in conjunction to resolve a condition. Unfortunately, these medications might interact with each other to cause balance problems, fatigue, blurred vision or other issues. Both the prescribing doctor and the pharmacist should notify patients of potential adverse effects.
  • Diagnostic errors: If a doctor fails to diagnose or misdiagnoses a condition, it could lead to further patient harm. Many conditions can have a negative effect on motor coordination as well as lead to balance impairment. The doctor must identify any condition that could lead to a fall and warn his or her patient about the dangers they face.

A medical professional must be aware of a patient’s conditions and physical impairments. Failure to recognize danger can lead to needless risks and serious injuries.