Nursing homes are a necessary part of life in Oregon and other states. Everyone would prefer to be able to continue living in their homes with their families, but often the need for extra care causes elderly people to need to enter a nursing home. The family hopes that the doctors and nurses that they have entrusted with the care of their loved one will be competent, caring and careful. An elderly man in another state was recently awarded over $600,000 in a medical malpractice lawsuit stemming from inadequate care he received while a resident at a nursing home in 2013.
The man, who was 79 years old at the time, was left alone on a toilet, and he fell off. The doctor ordered X-rays of the man's hip, which the radiologist said showed no fracture. The doctor failed to perform an exam on the man, which would have disclosed that he had fractured his hip. Although the man had obvious pain and loss of mobility, the doctor never ordered additional testing to diagnose the problem.
Following the fall, the elderly man's pain caused him to need extra pain medication. He lost his ability to transfer himself out of his wheelchair, and he became unable to use a toilet. The untreated damage to his hip caused his joint to deteriorate so badly that he was no longer eligible to have a partial hip replacement performed.
The victim reached a settlement with the nursing home and radiologist in 2015. No settlement was reached with the doctor, so he filed a new medical malpractice lawsuit against him in 2017. A jury recently awarded the man $636,000 in this case based on the man's pain and suffering as well as past and future medical expenses resulting from the doctor's negligence.
When a loved one enters a nursing home, family members should continue to take note of the elderly person's health and overall condition. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and while the nursing home staff should be able to recognize any potential health problems, family and loved ones will be more attuned to the patient's condition and will be able to detect changes. If negligence on the part of the medical staff is suspected, an experienced Oregon malpractice attorney can help the victim and/or family seek recovery of monetary damages sustained by means a medical malpractice lawsuit.