Physical therapy (PT) is an integral and important part of the lives of many residents in nursing homes. PT can be a critical part of overall healthcare and well-being and can help to:
- Restore physical function
- Improve mobility
- Relieve pain
- Prevent or limit further physical disability
- Restore, maintain, or improve physical fitness
These benefits may be realized through regular sessions with a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who provides personalized care designed to meet the needs of the individual. However, when the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant is negligent, your loved one may not be unable to maintain her quality of life and can also suffer serious harm.
Different Kinds of Physical Therapy Malpractice
If your loved one is receiving physical therapy in her nursing home, it is important to be aware of the different types of potential malpractice that may occur. Malpractice occurs anytime the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant owes your loved one a duty of care, breaches that duty by failing to act with reasonable care, and causes an injury that would not have happened but for the breach. Physical therapy malpractice includes:
- Failure to follow a medical practitioner’s orders
- Failure to report the patient’s progress to the medical practitioner
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Failure to stop treatment after extreme or unanticipated pain
- Failure to supervise or monitor the person doing the PT
- Improper use of therapeutic exercise
- Improper use of a biophysical agent
- Use of broken equipment
- Leaving patients unattended on equipment
- Dropping patients
Like other types of malpractice, PT malpractice can be devastating. Your loved one may be unable to maintain or improve her health, and your loved one may suffer new injuries as a result of the malpractice. Some of the specific injuries that may be caused by PT malpractice include:
- Broken bones
- Significant sprains or strains
- Spinal cord injuries
- Strokes or heart attacks
- Back injuries
- Anxiety or depression
If your loved one has suffered from any of these injuries due to the negligence of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, it is important to know what to do next.
Take Action If Your Loved One Is Hurt by PT Malpractice
In Kentucky, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are licensed by the Commonwealth. Thus, if you believe your loved one has been hurt by a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant, you have multiple options available to you. You can:
- Discuss the situation with nursing home administrators.
- File a complaint with the Kentucky Board of Physical Therapy.
- Pursue a legal malpractice case in a Kentucky court.
In some cases, you may take more than one of these actions. But before you do, it is important to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyer who can advise you of your loved one’s rights, explain all of the options, and help you take the right steps to protect your loved one’s interests.
You may be able to hold the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant accountable, and you may be able to help your loved one recover compensation for her medical costs, out-of- pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
For more information, we encourage you to contact our experienced and dedicated nursing home abuse legal team via this website or by phone at any time. Additionally, you can learn more about your rights by downloading our free book, Fighting Back Against Nursing Home Abuse: What Families Need to Know to Help Their Loved One.