Feds investigate safety failure that led to broken bones in elderly patient

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

September 3, 2014

Federal investigators are investigating claims that unsafe practices by staff at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas led to an elderly woman’s multiple foot fractures, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News.

 According to the report, staff at the hospital in June allegedly forced a disabled elderly woman out of her wheelchair so they could transfer her to her bed, leading to several bone breaks. Hours later, other staffers reportedly found the woman crying out in pain and discovered that she had multiple foot fractures, according to hospital records and an inspection report the paper referenced.

The latest case is the third report of safety issues in the psychiatric unit at Parkland over the last seven months, according to the paper’s report. Federal officials had threatened to cut off $400 million in annual funding to the hospital for two other incidents, including a man discharged to a homeless shelter in a wheelchair instead of to a care facility, and another where a patient was gagged with toilet paper and a sheet covering her head.