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Did hospital negligence cause Louisiana woman's broken hip?

Families in Louisiana often entrust the care of their elderly family members who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's to nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities. Patients and their families expect a certain level of care, even when under the care of a facility on a temporary basis. When hospital negligence shatters those expectations, a medical malpractice claim may be an appropriate option.

In July 2009, a woman who was previously given a diagnosis of dementia was admitted to a Louisiana hospital for a psychological evaluation because she experienced an increase in confusion, hallucinations and agitation. She claims that she was considered to be at risk of falls. Even so, she fell while hospitalized.

She required surgery to repair the damage done in that fall. She says that the hospital's negligence is responsible for her injury. She claims to suffer permanent damage and scarring. She further claims that she requires physical and occupational therapy in order to gain back the quality of life she lost due to her injury.

In her lawsuit, she is requesting an award of damages that includes medical expenses, mental anguish and pain and suffering, among others. It will now be up to a court to determine whether East Jefferson General Hospital is financially responsible for her fall. If the court is satisfied that the evidence she presents establishes negligence on the hospital's part, she may be awarded damages.

When a hospital breaches its duty to its patients, injuries and deaths can occur. Hospital negligence is an issue nationwide, not just here in Louisiana. Patients who suffered injuries because they did not receive the care to which they are entitled may file medical malpractice claims as this woman did. If the lack of care and attention resulted in a fatality, the surviving family of the victim may file a claim under applicable laws.

Source: The Louisiana Record, "East Jefferson General Hospital sued for medical malpractice after 90-year-old patient allegedly breaks hip", Kyle Barnett, Dec. 22, 2014

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