Negligent health care professionals may legally be held accountable for their actions if their behavior results in the death of a patient in Pennsylvania. One patient in a recent out-of-state case lost his life after his family members said health care professionals failed to properly care for him, which led to his falling and suffering a head injury. The man's wife and daughter have filed a medical malpractice claim against a doctor and nurse practitioner in this case.
The wife and daughter said that the man, 88, fainted while at a restaurant. He was then transported to the hospital by ambulance. When the fall happened, the man was reportedly suffering from many medical conditions, including hypertension, anxiety, memory disorder and kidney disease. The man was also suffering from hypothyroidism, diabetes, dementia and coronary artery disease.
After the man completed multiple tests concerning his health condition, the medicine he took for his blood pressure was adjusted. The man was then taken to a nursing home. It was initially determined there that he would have alarms placed on his wheelchair, but this order ended up being discontinued, and a Velcro seat belt was ordered instead. The man later fell, and his eye received a skin tear; he also suffered trauma to his head. The plaintiffs say the man never recovered fully and eventually died.
The wife and daughter of the man said that physical exams were not appropriately conducted and that nursing home staff were not adequately trained. As part of their medical malpractice suit, they are seeking damages for medical costs as well as physical pain and suffering. They are also pursuing damages for the loss of consortium, loss of affection and love, mental anguish, wrongful death and loss of the enjoyment of life. In Pennsylvania, in such a case, a preponderance of the evidence is required to establish liability based upon a showing of negligence.
Source: louisianarecord.com, "Family of elderly man who died after fall sue doctor, nurse practitioner", Kyle Barnett, Aug. 4, 2015