Personal injury caused directly by a diagnostic or treatment procedure is eligible for compensation under the Patient Injuries Act. Falling over, falling or other similar accidents associated with a stay in a treatment facility are eligible for compensation only if the supervision or assistance of the patient has been neglected in the situation. In assessing the appropriateness of the supervision and assistance, the resources available at each time are taken into consideration.
1) Falling over and wrist fracture in connection with toilet visit
A patient was treated for burns. During inpatient treatment, he fell over when going to the toilet, causing a wrist fracture.
The accident happened while admitted to the inpatient ward. However, the patient moved and functioned independently and was not in need of special supervision or assistance.
In this case, the patient's condition did not require particular supervision or assistance, as the patient had been able to move around the ward independently. The case does not constitute a compensable patient injury.
2) Hip fracture caused while washing oneself
A patient had been in inpatient care for 10 days. A physical therapist had assessed that the patient can move around the word independently using a walker. The patient fell over in the shower, which caused a hip fracture.
The accident happened while the patient was washing himself, and it was not associated with a diagnostic or treatment procedure. The patient's condition was appropriately evaluated to be such that he could move around the ward independently. Therefore, it was not a question of neglecting supervision and the injury caused was not compensated for under patient insurance.
3) Hip fracture caused by insufficient assistance
A patient had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for a long time, and it had worsened continuously, finally leading to disability. The patient was at a hospital for examinations, and when moving from one ward to another, he fell over and suffered a hip fracture. At the time of the incident, a nurse was walking ahead of the patient in the corridor. The patient was moving without support or aids.
In connection with the investigation of the case, it turned out that the patient was able to move short distances independently. The patient normally used mobility aids, such as crutches or a wheelchair, but his locomotion did not require continuous assistance by the nursing personnel. However, moving from one ward to another would have required a mobility aid or assistance. Had the patient had an aid in use or been assisted in moving, it would probably have been possible to prevent him from falling over.
This was a case of insufficient assistance and therefore a patient injury eligible for compensation.
4) Head trauma in connection with falling from bed
A patient was admitted to a neurological rehabilitation ward due to skull and brain injury A few months after the beginning of rehabilitation, the patient fell from bed over the side rails. The fall caused a subdural haematoma.
The fall happened suddenly after the patient had already been at the ward for a few months. The only way to prevent the fall would have been to strap the patient to the bed. Strapping is an extreme measure and, based on the patient's condition, no need for it emerged beforehand in this case.
Supervision was appropriate, and the injury caused by the fall was not compensated for under patient insurance.
5) Falling from bed while being moved to a wheelchair
A nurse was moving a patient from bed to a wheelchair. While being moved, the patient's legs slipped and he slid to the floor. The patient needed help in moving due to his health, but otherwise he acted independently. Moving assisted by one person had succeeded without problems before.
This was not an accident related to a diagnostic or treatment procedure, but assisting the patient in daily activities.
No shortcomings could be observed in assisting the patient. The nurse assisted the patient appropriately. The patient's legs giving way completely could not be foreseen. The nurse was able to slow down the patient's fall to the floor by holding him from under the armpits. In this case, there was no need for more than one nurse being there to assist the patient.
It was not an injury eligible for compensation under patient insurance.
6) Tibia fracture in connection with physical therapy
A patient took part in rehabilitation in connection with which he cycled a stationary bike under the guidance of a physical therapist. The patient's knee twisted in hyperextension and he suffered a tibia fracture. Rehabilitation was considered to be a treatment procedure, so the accident took place in connection with healthcare and medical care.
The injury was compensated for under patient insurance.
7) Wrist fracture in connection with riding therapy
A patient fell from a horse in connection with riding therapy guided by a physical therapist. The patient suffered a wrist fracture in the accident. The riding therapy was considered to be a treatment procedure.
The injury was compensated for under patient insurance.
8) Hip fracture caused by falling from bed
A patient suffering from memory disease, among other conditions, was treated at a healthcare centre's inpatient ward. The patient fell over bed side rails lifted halfway up. The fall resulted in a hip fracture.
The only way to prevent falling from bed is to strap the patient in place, but it is a measure that strongly interferes with self-determination and is only rarely considered justified. Taking into account the resourced of treatment facilities, it also cannot be usually required that the patients were monitored continuously.
According to the documents, the patient was able to move around independently using a walker, but needed assistance e.g. in washing. Based on the investigation, it was estimated that the supervision of the patient was appropriate. Falling from bed could not have probably been prevented even if the side rails of the bed had been lifted all the way up.
The case does not constitute a compensable patient injury.