A resident at the Warren Park Health and Living Center in Chicago, Illinois fell from his bed and suffered multiple cuts and bruises to his face as well as a fractured leg. The resident had been determined to be a high risk for falls during his last evaluation.
The nursing home fall took place during a care treatment. The resident was on his side for the treatment. After it was completed, they rolled the resident without putting up the rails, and he fell to the floor.
The resident told the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) inspector that the certified nurses aide (CNA) in charge of his care “was in such a hurry she didn’t put the rail up before turning me.”
Side rails are cloth or padded rails that can be attached to nursing home beds. When the rails are up, they can prevent a nursing home resident from accidentally rolling off of the bed. When they’re left down, serious injuries can easily occur. The resident also told inspectors that the rails are never utilized with any consistency, a fact he attributed to poor training. He told the nursing home inspector that “One day they’re up, then they’re down.”
Nursing home falls are extremely dangerous for all nursing home residents. For residents who are already suffering from debilitating conditions, a nursing home fall can begin a downward health spiral that the resident will never recover from. For other nursing home residents, a nursing home fall can mean the end to the vestiges of independence that make up a positive quality of life.