Nearly One Third of Rehab Facility Patients Harmed by Inadequate Care
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on July 21, 2016 in Personal Injury
A recent oversight study conducted by the office of the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 29 percent of patients in rehabilitation facilities suffer some kind of harm during their stay, including medication errors, infections and bedsores.
Doctors reviewed the medical records of randomly selected Medicare patients across the country who stayed in rehabilitation facilities in March 2012. They found that, of the 417 cases analyzed, 158 included harmful incidents. Nearly half of those incidents could have been prevented.
The study focused on rehabilitation facilities that are not affiliated with a hospital. Because these facilities require patients participate in at least three hours of occupational and physical therapy five days a week, most patients are healthier than those in a traditional hospital or nursing homes. Many patients stay in these facilities to recover from strokes, injuries or recent surgeries.
The types of harmful events that were identified ranged in severity from a temporary injury, to incidents requiring extended stays at the facility, to permanent disability and death. Specifically, the study found that:
- Almost 25 percent of patients who suffered injuries required admittance to an acute care hospital
- Nearly half of injury cases were a result of medication errors, including bleeding from blood thinners and losing consciousness because of the use of narcotic painkillers
- 40 percent of cases involving injured patients were a result of failures in routine monitoring, leading to falls, constipation and bedsores
Many experts have noted that this long-term study is a troubling indication of the level of harm patients are suffering in a commonly overlooked category of inpatient facilities.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury as a result of inadequate care while staying at a rehabilitation facility or another other type of inpatient facility, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at PKSD. Through a free, no obligation consultation, we can help you determine if you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering.