An Ohio woman has filed an injury lawsuit against a Fresenius dialysis center, seeking compensation for a crippling fall that left her unconscious for months and needing to eat through a feeding tube.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Adda M. Paxson, and her husband, Gayle, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on December 10, against Renal Care Group of Eastern Ohio, LLC, which does business as Fresenius Medical Care Salem South.
Allegations raised in the medical malpractice lawsuit indicate that the dialysis center workers allowed Paxson to fall while transferring her from her wheelchair in January 2012. As a result of the injury, Paxson suffered a subdural hematoma, lost consciousness until May and now has to use a feeding tube to eat.
Paxson claims that the Fresenius dialysis center failed to follow the company’s policy towards fall assessments and was negligent in its duty to ensure that she did not fall and injure herself. The clinic’s own assessment had identified Paxson as a patient belonging to a category of those at most risk of suffering a fall for multiple reasons.
The Fresesnius dialysis clinic has been accused of malpractice, violation of reasonable care, and violation of the defendants own standards of care in preventing falls. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for Adda Paxson, alleging that the clinic acted in total disregard for her safety. Her husband is seeking financial compensation for loss of consortium.
Fresenius is the largest provider of dialysis services and products in the world, owning thousands of dialysis clinics and manufacturing many of the products used during treatment at clinics owned by other companies, including machines, dialyzers, blood lines, needles and dialysis concentrates.
The company currently faces a number of dialysis injury lawsuits filed by patients who received their Granuflo or NaturaLyte dialysate solutions in recent years, which have been found to increase the risk of cardiac arrest, heart attack and sudden death if doctors fail to monitor bicarbonate levels during dialysis treatment.
In November 2011, Fresenius issued a detailed internal memo to their own clinics, warning about the risk of problems with Granuflo and NaturaLyte used during hemodialysis. However, the same warnings and information about the risk of heart attacks among dialysis patients receiving the products was not provided to non-Fresenius clinics until March 2012. The FDA has classified those warnings as a class I recall for Granuflo and NaturaLyte.