Failing to Refer or Send a Resident to a Specialist or Hospital Could be Minneapolis Nursing Home Malpractice

When Nursing Homes Fail to Refer or Send a Resident to a Specialist or Hospital, Call Kuhlman Law, LLC


If an individual has had a major medical emergency, is recovering from a large surgery or procedure, or has become unable to care for himself or herself, a nursing home is a viable long term care option to help that person.  Unlike assisted living or adult homes, a nursing home can help perform more medically-related care and treatment for a resident.  This is because nursing home have registered nurses and even physicians to help provide care and treatment to residents.  But sometimes this healthcare staff may overlook medical situations or try to treat injuries or accidents in-house—likely for billing purposes.  This can result in serious nursing home malpractice.  As a Minneapolis nursing home malpractice lawyer, this is why I am hosting a two week special of articles relating to nursing home malpractice.


How Can Failing to Refer a Patient to a Hospital or Specialist Be Nursing Home Malpractice?


Medical malpractice is a type of negligence case, which involves an act or omission that is below the standard of care and unnecessarily results in damages to another.  When a nursing home staff fails to refer a patient to a hospital or specialist, that inaction can be negligent.  This allows a victim to recover compensation for his or her injuries caused by this failure.  In a nursing home context, this is particularly important because we trust our loved ones in the care and treatment of a nursing facility.  When they fail to take care of our loved one, while still taking absorbent fees from us, the nursing facility should be held accountable.


Scenarios Where a Nursing Home Fails to Refer a Patient 


While a nursing home may provide basic medical care and treatment, staff is usually unqualified and not permitted to perform larger procedures.  Additionally, most nursing homes are simply not equipped with all of the equipment that may be necessary to perform many diagnostic checks, such as an x-ray for a broken bone.  This is why nursing home facilities must still refer residents to hospitals or specialists for the proper care and treatment.


There are several scenarios where a nursing home may be liable for nursing home malpractice when the facility fails to refer the resident to a specialists or hospital.  Some common examples include the following:


  • Failing to refer a patient to a hospital after a fall – if a resident falls in a nursing home and hits his or her head, the patient should be taken to the hospital for a CT-scan, x-ray, or MRI.  This is particularly true if the patient is recovering from a stroke or heart attack where blood thinner medications like warfarin or heparin were used, because a hit to the head could result in uncontrolled brain bleeding.  If a nursing home fails to send the patient to the hospital, it can be medical malpractice if the resident does have a brain bleed.   It can also be fatal very quickly.
  • Failing to refer a patient to a specialist for possible cancer – some residents may be in nursing homes for a long time to care for them.  During the resident’s stay, other conditions may arise which could be signs of a major medical emergency.  One common example is cancer.  If a patient is manifesting signs of potentially cancer, a nursing home staff should refer the patient to a specialists for diagnostic tests and evaluation.  If a nursing home fails to do this and it results in injuries from cancer that would not have occurred if it was caught earlier, it can be nursing home malpractice.
  • Failing to diagnose a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, or other medical emergency – nursing home staff is particularly trained in recognizing and providing first aid for these conditions.  However, when nursing home staff fails to recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism and send the patient to the hospital, it can be nursing home malpractice.


Failing to Refer a Resident to a Specialist or the Hospital Can Be Nursing Home Malpractice: Call Us Today


When a nursing home fails to send a resident to a specialist or to the hospital it can result in horrific pain and suffering, debilitating injuries, and wrongful death.  But the solution is simply to send the patient to a higher level of care without having to do much else—it is a very easy task in most instances.  Yet, nursing homes do not always do this—particularly when it would affect their bottom line.


If you or a loved one have been injured due to the medical malpractice of a healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care service professional, call Kuhlman Law, LLC for a FREE consultation by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation may be.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough review of your case and advise you whether there may have been a serious medical mistake causing your injury.   There is no risk, and you do not owe us money unless we win your case.

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