When considering improper conduct by hospitals administrators and staff members, most focus is on medical errors. Medical malpractice rules requires professionals to act prudently at all times. When those standards are not met and harm befalls a patient, then a malpractice lawsuit might be filed.
But focusing only on medical mistakes–things like surgical problems, medications errors, and more–does not adequately cover all of the ways that a facility can disrespect patient rights and cause very real mental, emotional, and physical harm. Sadly, the drive for profits occasionally leads facilities to act inappropriately. Sometimes this involves trying to “get rid” of patients who, for whatever reason, are not as profitable. Because of certain insurance rules and other financial factors for patients, some hospitals skirt ethical rules in trying to get patients out of their facility.
Shuffled into Nursing Home
For example, a recent story from My Elder Advocate shared troubling allegations about an elderly man who was essentially forced out of a hospital and moved into a nursing home when he was not ready to do so.
According to the story, the 85-year old man in this case was in a hospital while recuperating from a serious MRSA infection. As blog readers know, this infection is often acquired in the hospital itself, when caregivers fail to follow protocol to ensure clean and sanitary conditions to prevent the spread of the bacteria. In this case, the man had developed the infection while in the facility.
Last week, completely unexpectedly, hospital staff members entered the man’s room and tried to put him on a stretcher to move him out of the facility. The man had no idea that he was being discharged and did not at all feel ready to leave. At only 95 pounds, he was incredibly frail. Naturally, the man was in a panic when the staff member did not listen to him. He tried to call his wife on his cell phone, but the phone was snatched from him. Eventually, he was literally restrained on the stretcher and forcefully removed from the facility.
Apparently the facility’s social services director was responsible for this forcible “eviction.” The director allegedly had been trying for weeks to discharge the senior, even though the man’s antibiotic treatments to combat the MRSA were not yet completed. Sadly, the man was forced to go immediately back to a nursing home where he had previously suffered neglect and mistreatment. Before being unceremoniously returned to the home, the senior had spent five weeks there–loosing 22 pounds, suffering cuts, seizures, and otherwise not being treated with the dignity and respect that everyone deserves. Unfortunately, ugly situations like this one are not all that rare.
Financial incentives at both hospitals and nursing home often combine and lead to terrible treatment of the senior patients caught in the middle. Any sort of misconduct on the part of hospital professionals and administrators that harms patients is inexcusable. If you or someone you know has ever been affected in this way, consider contacting the malpractice attorneys at our firm for legal guidance.
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