Nursing center blamed for patient's fall

David Yates Mar. 12, 2008, 9:22am

Nurses at the Senior Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center instructed Mae Badeaux to call if she needed assistance, but later found the woman on the floor after attempting to go to the bathroom by herself.

Acting as next of friend, Richard Bienvenue filed a medical malpractice suit against SRSNC on Badeaux's behalf on March 11 in the Jefferson County District Court.

According to the plaintiff's petition, Badeaux was a resident of SRSNC in Port Arthur with a history of pancreatitis, dementia, high blood pressure, anemia, gastro esophageal reflux disease and hypothyroidism, as well as coronary artery disease. She was also taking multiple psychotropic drugs.

"On Nov. 3, 2006, Ms. Badeaux was found on the bathroom floor," the suit said. "According to the records, she stated she hit her head and her right ankle. She was transferred to the St. Elizabeth Hospital. The nurses' notes go on to say that the resident stated she slipped and fell from a wheelchair while attempting to get on the commode by herself. The nurses' notes go on to say she was instructed to press the call light for assistance."

The suit continues that Badeaux suffered an array of medical complications following her fall in the bathroom.

"Ms. Badeaux was the patient of the Defendant and the Defendant owed her a duty to exercise ordinary care in the diagnosis, treatment, care, and supervision of her condition and the prevention of unnecessary falls," the suit said.

The suit lists the following acts of negligence allegedly committed by SRSNC:

  • Failing to provide Ms. Badeaux with that level of care and treatment that a reasonable, prudent and similar facility would provide under the same or similar circumstances;

  • Failing to provide Ms. Badeaux a comprehensive care plan and implement the plan effectively;

  • Failing to provide Ms. Badeaux with an effective fall prevention plan;

  • Failing to provide Ms. Badeaux with the use of a wheeled chair alarm, the use of a Lap Buddy or restraining devise much like a seatbelt, the use of a low bed, the use of a bed alarm, the use of a floor mat along side of the bed;

  • Failing to provide Ms. Badeaux with a comprehensive, accurate assessment of each resident with ongoing assessment information necessary to develop a care plan [Federal OBRA Regulation 483.20 Resident Assessment 40 TAC 19;801, Resident Assessment];

  • Failing to develop a comprehensive care plan for each resident by using the results of the MDS assessment. The care plan must reflect the needs and risks of the resident. The care plan must be kept up-to-date. The effectiveness and appropriateness of the plan must be evaluated periodically;

  • Failing to provide Ms. Badeaux with adequate supervision and assistance devised to prevent accidents;

  • Failing to maintain adequate records and/or preservation of accurate records. The facility must maintain clinical records on each resident in accordance with accepted professional standards and practices that are complete and accurately documents;

  • Failing to maintain clinical records in accordance with accepted professional standards and practices that are complete and accurately documented;

  • And acting in complete disregard for the safety and well-being of Ms. Badeaux amounting to a clear, conscious indifference to a high degree of risk of significant harm.

    Bienvenue is suing for punitive damages, plus Badeaux's past and future mental anguish, medical expenses, pain, disfigurement and impairment.

    The plaintiffs are demanding a trial by jury and are represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Mark Sparks.

    The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District.

    Case No. D181-420

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