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Posted on 22nd November 2017

Pensioner Left Brain Damaged After Falling From Bed

An 87 year old woman attended hospital after falling at home. She attended A&E and was given painkillers. Her injuries were described as minor.

Whilst at the hospital, the pensioner was put on a ward and given a bed. Whilst on the ward she fell from the hospital bed suffering a swollen face, lump on her forehead and a cut on her nose. She also had swelling and bruising to both of her eyes.

The elderly woman’s family have launched a claim for compensation against the hospital because they claim it was a further six days from the fall before a CT scan was performed showing the woman had sustained a brain injury and was now classed as brain damaged.

The hospital have admitted failures in providing basic nursing care, a safe environment and not putting the sides of the bed up. They also admit to waiting for six days before performing scans.

The daughter of the woman commented about when she returned to visit her mum she said “I was horrified to find my mother laid on a mattress on the A&E department’s floor

“She had a swollen face, lump on her forehead, cut on her nose and swelling and bruising to both her eyes.

“I was only then informed that muy mum had fallen from her hospital trolley during the course of the day and landed face-first on the hard floor.

“She was left semi-naked and exposed on a mattress on the floor

“I had told them when she went into hospital that she became confused if given painkillers, but they didn’t bother putting bed guards on.

“I went berserk, she was on the floor, concussed, and she could not open her eyes and could barely talk”

The woman’s daughter added “I returned the next day to see my mum, and I was horrified once again to find her still lying on the mattress on the floor, with her night dress pulled down exposing her breasts, and the cubicle open.

“Obviously she had pulled her night dress down not knowing what she was doing, and there was a doctor working on his computer right in front of her.

“I said “Couldn’t you have done something?” and her replied “She is not my patient”. That really upset me”

The family’s solicitor commented “The delay in carrying out a CT scan after falling from her bed was inexcusable. She had suffered a clear head injury, had a decreased level of consciousness and was confused. It should have been the first action taken.”


We understand that there is a mixed opinion as to whether the use of cot sides on hospital beds are useful or if they can cause more injuries.

If cot sides are used, we have heard of instances where confused patients climb over them and fall from a higher point causing themselves more damage. On the other hand, as this case shows, the use of cot sides would have made a significant difference to this patient’s well-being.

The difference in this case however is that the patient was in a confused state due to painkilling medication and therefore cot sides should have been used.

If you or a loved one has suffered a fall during a stay in hospital and that fall could have been avoided by the use of bedrails, you may have grounds to make a compensation claim.

Contact us on 0330 355 9210 or for a free claim assessment.