This case involves an elderly man in a long-term care facility who was injured while in his power wheelchair. He had been prescribed a power wheelchair by his primary care doctor because his mobility had become very limited. He had just received the chair three days before the incident. On the evening in question, he was in the bathroom preparing for bed. As he was brushing his teeth, he dropped his toothbrush and reached down to pick it up. On his way back up, the man hit the lever that activates the chair and it spun in a circular motion. The turn caused him to hit his head on ceramic tile. The plaintiff alleged the car facility did not provide enough training for him to safely and proper operate the vehicle.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you routinely treat patients that require wheelchairs/scooters?
- 2. Are you able to speak to the necessity of a scooter for a patient? When would you recommend a patient obtain a scooter?
Expert Witness Response E-000468
I am an expert in health and human service administration programs. As a hospital director, I have provided administrative oversight to the operation of long-term care facilities and managed a broad range of human service organizations that required expert knowledge of federal and state regulations. Currently, I am a professor of management and teach graduate management courses in an MBA program, a master’s of healthcare leadership program. I also supervise doctoral students in a Ph.D. program. I routinely provide administrative standard of care opinions related to care and treatment provided in long-term care facilities. I can provide a non-medical quality of life opinion related to when a scooter is necessary for a patient. I would recommend a patient obtain a scooter when their ambulatory skills are reduced such that social interaction with the environment, staff, and other residents is severely restricted.