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  • Medical Malpractice – Nurse Negligence: Harroun v. Huron Valley Sinai Hospital

Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew Turner and Lenore Zakhem filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of a man who suffered serious injuries as a result of two separate falls at different facilities. The lawsuit alleges that the nurses at both facilities were negligent and did not adhere to the applicable standard of care because they failed to implement proper care plans for a patient at high risk for falls.

On January 18, 2021, Hugh Harroun went to the emergency room at Huron Valley Sinai Hospital with complaints of bilateral lower extremity edema, shortness of breath, and periodic confusion. He was admitted and placed in a room, unsupervised, with no fall precautions in place.   

As a result, Mr. Harroun fell while in the emergency department at Huron Valley Sinai Hospital and suffered head injuries, specifically, subdural hematomas and subarachnoid hemorrhages, an oblique fracture through the mastoid air cells with violation of the otic capsule, right-sided otomastoid effusion with a small adjacent focus of pneumocephalus in the cerebellopontine angle and moderate-to-severe encephalopathy.  Mr. Harroun was not provided with the level of nursing care and supervision he required based on being a high risk for falling and his altered mentation. 

On February 11, 2021, Mr. Harroun was discharged to Westlake Health Campus, a subacute rehabilitation facility. The nurses who performed his intake exam at Westlake failed to identify that he was suffering from a brain bleed as a result of his prior fall, which would have mandated fall precautions to be effectuated. They also failed to implement appropriate fall prevention measures, such as using a bed alarm, a low bed, or fall mats and failed to ensure he was checked on and evaluated regularly.

As a result, Mr. Harroun fell again on February 11, 2021, at Westlake and suffered a C7 spinous process fracture.  A CT of the head and brain showed increasing acute-subacute on chronic bilateral subdural hematomas following the second fall.   Due to increasing subdural hematomas, Mr. Harroun underwent neurosurgery for a right frontoparietal temporal craniotomy and evacuation of subdural hematoma and duraplasty. 

Had the nurses at both facilities adhered to the appropriate standard of care, Mr. Harroun would not have suffered the traumatic falls on January 18, 2021, and February 11, 2021, which led to severe head trauma and a closed head injury, resulting in the need for neurosurgery, an extended stay in the ICU, and a lengthy period of rehabilitation for his injuries and post-surgical recovery. 

In his lawsuit, the patient seeks compensation for his past and future medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish and humiliation, disability and disfigurement, loss of wages and earning capacity, mental anguish and humiliation, loss of household services, and other damages and losses.

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