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Slips, trips and falls can lead to devastating injuries. Individuals might step in a wet patch or trip over broken pavement and suffer fractured bones, torn ligaments or brain trauma. Outside of these environmental factors, however, individuals could struggle with balance issues brought on by strong medication or a medical condition. If a fall occurs while under the care of a physician, is it considered medical negligence?

While there tend to be numerous contributing factors to any type of fall, the CDC has highlighted several risk factors, including:

  • Experiencing weakness in the lower body, lower extremities
  • Challenges in either walking or overall balance
  • Use of prescription or over the counter medications
  • Perception issues including blurry or impaired vision
  • Foot, ankle or knee problems

A medical provider must thoroughly examine a patient before advising them to leave the care facility and walk unaided. There are generally three questions that must be considered:

  • Does this combination of medications put the patient at risk for a fall? Often, providers will prescribe a combination of medications to relieve numerous symptoms at the same time. This is referred to as polypharmacy, and these medications can interact leading to magnified perceptive difficulties or unintended reactions.
  • Was the patient’s condition fully and accurately diagnosed? Numerous afflictions can lead to motor-coordination challenges and other overlapping symptoms. Failing to accurately diagnose the condition can lead to worsening symptoms.
  • Were all the risk factors properly assessed? Failing to fully analyze all the patient’s risk factors can lead to problems down the line. Medical professionals must properly assess all risk factors to ensure the safety of all patients.

If the medical professional fails to recognize risk factors or does not communicate potential challenges to the patient, he or she could be considered negligent. If you or a loved one has experienced a slip-and-fall injury that can be traced back to an instance of medical malpractice, it is wise to seek the guidance of a trusted legal professional.