Fall-Risk Patient Suffers Several Slip Accidents On Rehabilitation Facility Watch

Victoria Negron

Written by
— Updated on January 10, 2022

Fall Risk Management Expert

This case involves an elderly woman who was in a rehab facility following a knee surgery. She was a known fall risk and had a slip and fall incident within her first few weeks at the facility. Following her fall, the patient underwent a falls risk assessment which determined she was still at a high risk. Two days later, the patient fell again and fractured her hip. She required a hip surgery, however, her doctors determined that they could not perform the procedure given her recent knee surgery. The patient’s hip was pinned but the pins subsequently failed, resulting in nonunion and excessive pain and swelling. An expert in fall risk management was sought to assess the protocols for slip and fall patients implemented at the rehab facility.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Can you speak to the standard of care for patients at high risk of falls?
  • 2. Do you have experience with fall risk precautions?

Expert Witness Response E-037157

I have been an RN for 25+ years in staff positions and held both leadership and administrative positions, including chief nursing officer, in numerous facilities. I have both taken care of patients at risk for falls as well as developed and implemented policies/standards around fall prevention. I have led numerous fall prevention task forces to track and improve patient safety. I am very familiar with evidence-based recommendations coming from national healthcare quality organizations. I am very familiar with the standards of care concerning the prevention of patient falls. I have developed standards and implemented standards of care for prevention of patient falls for 25+ years as both an RN and a chief nursing officer. I have experience with fall risk precautions and have consulted successfully on previous legal cases. I have experience with rehabilitation facilities as I have overseen those departments in at least two hospitals along with other departments that reported to me.

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