An 83-year-old female resident of the Foster Health and Rehab Center in Chicago fell repeatedly while in the care of the facility. The injuries resulting from these falls included fractures of the hip, broken vertebrae, broken ribs, fractured bones in her face and a head injury that resulted in blood buildup in the brain (subdural hematoma).
Before discussing the specifics of her injuries and how the recent Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) report reflects on the efforts of the Foster Health and Rehab Center to prevent nursing home falls, it’s important for readers to understand the nature of nursing home falls and the responsibilities of nursing homes to prevent them.
In most locations where slip and fall accidents happen, a circumstance arises that causes a normally able-bodied person to fall. In a nursing home, each resident undergoes regular evaluations to determine the likelihood of a nursing home fall. Part of the evaluation is determining what kind of interventions should be put in place to prevent nursing home falls. Interventions can include things like bed rails, non-slip footwear, and other techniques and devices.
After each nursing home fall, the nursing home is required to conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the fall, and then put new interventions in place to ensure additional falls won’t happen.
For the resident at Foster Health and Rehab, however, the falls just kept coming. The first fall took place in her room. She was unable to articulate what had happened. Just a week later, she fell in the bathroom. Xrays were taken, but no bones were broken.
Two weeks later she fell again. This was the fall that caused most of the damage.
Foster Health and Rehab had many opportunities to identify causes and prevent further falls, and yet they failed to take any action. Nursing home inspectors interviewed staff at the facility who confirmed that they were aware that the nursing home resident was forgetful and at high risk for nursing home falls. However, no additional interventions were ever put in place.
If you have a loved one who has experienced multiple falls in a Chicago area nursing home, or if they have been severely injured after just one fall, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.