Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
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Bed Rails in Nursing Homes

Our Michigan nursing home neglect lawyers often handle cases involving injuries resulting when a nursing home resident falls from a bed and suffers a serious injuries.  These injuries include fractured hips, broken bones, and head injuries.  These incidents can give rise to a Michigan nursing home malpractice case.

Many of these injuries should have been prevented if the nursing home would have had bed rails on the bed to protect the patient.  Many times, the resident's bed has bed rails but they were not put up at the time of the fall.  Typically, it is the physician's duty to prescribe bed rails for the patient and the nursing staff's responsibility to make sure that they are being used when the patient is in bed.  Therefore, in our analysis of a fall from bed case, we first determine if the doctor was negligent for failing to prescribe bed rails.  If bed rails were ordered by the nursing home doctor but not used, this would be negligence by the nursing staff.

Under Michigan law, the guardian or family member of a nursing home resident can request the use of bed rails.  The relevant section of the law states:

"…A resident or the resident's legal guardian, patient advocate, or other legal representative has the right to request and consent to bed rails for the resident. A nursing home shall provide bed rails to a resident only upon receipt of a signed consent form authorizing bed rail use and a written order from the resident's attending physician that contains statements and determinations regarding medical symptoms and that specifies the circumstances under which bed rails are to be used. For purposes of this subsection, "medical symptoms" includes the following:

(a) A concern for the physical safety of the resident.
(b) Physical or psychological needs expressed by the resident. A resident's fear of falling may be the basis of a medical symptom."

The nursing home staff is required under law to monitor the use of the bed rails and to make sure that they are in use.   The failure to monitor for bed rail use is a basis for filing a nursing home lawsuit.

Family members place a tremendous degree of trust into the hands or the nursing home and its staff members to properly care for a loved one.  This trust is broken when the nursing home fails to follow proper protocol and the family members suffers a significant injury.  Because most nursing home patients are already physically compromised due to other conditions, an injury caused by falling from a bed can be catastrophic and recovery from these injuries is very difficulty and lengthy.  Many times, the patient does not recover from the injuries and this can lead to a Michigan Wrongful Death Lawsuit.

If a family member, friend, or ward has suffered injuries due to a fall from a bed in a nursing home, you should contact our office  immediately to investigate whether the resident has a case against the nursing home.

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