Fall in Memory Care Unit Results in $250,000 Award

Facts Involving the Memory Care Fall Fracture Lawsuit

Wayne D wrongfully died after a memory care fallWayne D was an 88-year-old-man with sundowning syndrome – a subtype of dementia that triggers behavioral changes at night time. The D family placed Wayne in Memory Care Facility, so medical staff could properly monitor Wayne’s night wandering.

Memory Care was understaffed, with a ratio of 1 nurse per 40 patients. In an effort to keep Wayne D from getting out of bed unsupervised, Memory Care’s nurses administered Diazepam – a medication used as a chemical restraint. This medication was intended to keep Wayne D sedated. However, the medication was incorrectly dosed and the sedation was not effective in preventing Wayne D from wandering.

The chemical restraint impaired Wayne D’s mobility which resulted in a fall in Memory Care Facility. Memory Care nurse found Wayne D on the floor and evaluated his physical condition. Wayne D did not report any pain – as he was chemically sedated – so Memory Care nurse assisted Wayne D in returning to bed.

The D Family’s Involvement in Diagnosing Wayne’s Memory Care Injuries

The D family entered Memory Care Facility to visit Wayne the next morning. The D family reported Wayne appearing to be in a zombie-like state, and occasionally wincing as if he were in pain. Memory Care nurses called for a non-emergency ambulance to transport Wayne D to Hospital for evaluation. Hospital physician evaluated Wayne D and discovered the ball joint from his hip was dislodged and had impaled Wayne’s pelvic bone. The D family spoke with the surgeon at Hospital, which explained that Wayne D did not qualify for surgery because his sundowning syndrome would prevent Wayne from allowing his surgery to heal. Wayne D entered hospice care and passed several days later. The cause of death on Wayne’s death certificate was directly attributed to his fall and fracture at Memory Care Facility.

The Legal Procedure Following Mr. D’s Wrongful Death

The D family sought legal counsel and hired Senior Justice Law Firm. Our memory care liability lawyers began by obtaining the relevant Memory Care Facility records, the hospital records, the EMS/Fire Rescue records, and the hospice records. We had these reviewed by an expert witness that specializes in long term care cases. We then sent our formal notice letter to the negligent facility.

After engaging in four months of discovery, Senior Justice Law Firm settled Wayne D’s case against Memory Care Facility for a confidential settlement amount. The family was quite happy with the result. Aside from the monetary compensation, the D family took solace in knowing that Memory Care Facility had to look inward and pay its own money to settle this case. Their hope is that the mistreatment that Wayne suffered will not happen again.

Conclusion

Memory Care Facility promised to provide specialized care for Wayne D and failed to monitor his sundowning behavioral changes. Sundowning Syndrome is diagnosed by consistent signs of pacing, wandering, shadowing, and insomnia. Administering diazepam as a chemical restraint was a tool used to help an understaffed facility control its residents. The disorienting effects of chemical restraints are extremely dangerous when used in excess. Wayne D was not a fall risk when entering Memory Care Facility; however, the diazepam has side effects of dizziness, muscle weakness, and ataxia. Hip and pelvis fractures often require surgical treatment and may result in additional health complications – such as pneumonia, bedsores, or deep vein thrombosis.

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If your loved one was wrongfully injured or died inside a healthcare facility, please call the Senior Justice Law Firm for a free consultation at 888-375-9998 or submit your case facts below. We always provide free case consultations, and we work on contingency fee, so we only get paid if we win your case. You are never required to pay us out of pocket.

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