My husband had a stroke in October 2017 and was admitted into the hospital and admitted to a rehabilitation center after he could not walk, stand and eat on his own. My husband also, has Parkinson disease, dementia, diabetics and other health issues. I had a problem with the center due to his Parkinson's medicine, which the nurses there did not give him his medication as scheduled. The issue really occurred early one morning, where he became combative and aggressive, so I was told. The nurses called me around 1 a.m. saying he was out of control and they hoping I could come and see if I could calm him down. My son and I went to the rehab center around 1:30 a.m. and he appeared to be calm. We stayed at the center overnight with my husband. I made up my mind that he needs to come home and get PT, OT and an aide care at home. He was discharged the next morning and after two days at home I saw scratches on his legs, thighs and arms. I was shocked and disturbed for what I was seeing. They called me for everything else, why they did not inform me about the scratches on his body. I called the social worker at the rehab center and left a message about my findings and how I felt. The head nurse called me and told me that they had to calm him down because he could have hurt himself and the staff. I am torn because the staff should have been trained for situation of aggressive patient, however, I can imaging how it is when a patient become out of control. My question is should I take action against the rehab center for the scratches on his body of leave it alone?
I agree with CM that the appropriate action would be to write a letter asking for an explanation. Keep it polite and neutral. I'd include something like, "What will you being to minimize the chance of this happening again?" As Sue says, I don't think there is anything any facility can do that will absolutely guarantee this type of incident never happens.
What sort of action?
Did you take any photographs?
I would certainly write a formal complaint to the rehab centre and ask for a full explanation of how these injuries occurred, and a detailed account of what took place during that very disturbed evening and night. But I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about it - are you sure your husband wasn't scratching himself, and that was partly what they needed to restrain him for, for example?
It is extremely distressing to see this sort of thing and I'm sorry for how upset you must feel. How is your husband settling in at home?
I understand you wanting to get some closure but I'm not sure you have a "case", since he become combative. They may have tried to get him back to bed or prevent him from falling.
I have been on the receiving end of confused, combative and angry patients. I've been hit, punched, spit on, pushed, scratched (by nails), etc.
Yes, nurses are trained to handle combative patients but, when they outweigh you and are stronger than you, and they won't listen to reason, or are going to hurt themselves, you just have to do what you can. Usually, you would have another nurse or orderly helping you. Sometimes I've had to do it alone. It's a fine line for the nurse getting hurt from the patient or the patient getting hurt from forcing their way and having to be restrained.
Can you imagine your husband being combative with you? How would you fare?
Since he is scratched and nothing broken, fractured or sprained, I'd forget it.
Often doctors will order the time a medicine is to be given. The nurse has NO choice but to give it at that time, even if the patient takes it at the opposite time of day at home.
I've had a lot of angry family members tell me I was wrong to give their LO the meds at that time. My hands were tied. I would call the doc and ask if we could change the time to what the family wanted.