The St. Louis personal injury law firm of Meyerkord & Kurth recently settled a wrongful death case for an elderly patient who fell at a community hospital because its staff engaged in a “never event”. Tragically, in April of 2015 a 90-year-old woman was admitted to a community hospital, diagnosed with pneumonia and died from a preventable accident. The patient suffered head injuries during a preventable fall.
While the patient was relatively healthy for her age, she had received treatment for the pneumonia involving steroids, IV antibiotics, nebulizer treatments and was preparing to be discharged back to the nursing home where she resided. While using the restroom, a hospital aide was not properly supporting the patient who fell back and struck her head. Her death occurred the following day and an autopsy determined the cause of death to be subdural hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage, manner of death: accident.
Why would a 90-year-old woman die from something other than natural causes? MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE. The answer is negligence due to a “never event”. The term “never event” has been coined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) when they announced in 2008 new policies in an attempt to improve the safety of hospital patients. Hospitals and medical facilities will suffer payment implications from Medicare and Medicaid if these “never events” occur. Some examples of “never events” include surgical errors, injuries due to catheterization, device or product issues, infections resulting from hospitalization and surgeries, and trauma and injuries from falls. The purpose of identifying the “never events” is to reduce the negligence within medical facilities and hospitals.
Unfortunately, despite the attempts of the CMS “never events” continue to occur resulting in injuries and death. Fortunately, laws are in place to protect the victims of the “never events” and the St. Louis personal injury law firm Meyerkord & Kurth has successfully represented many victims to obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. We take pride in knowing that despite the negligence of the community hospital in the death of the 90-year-old victim, our attorneys fought to hold the responsible parties accountable and provide closure for the family.