IDPH has cited and fined Aperion Care International nursing home in Chicago there after a resident there suffered a fractured ankle as a result of an unsafe transfer with a mechanical lift.
The transfer of a resident with a mechanical lift is inherently a two-person job. One staff member actually operates the lift itself; the other steadies the resident in the sling and guides them into place at the destination, whether that it the bed, a chair, etc. We have told the tale far too often here (see here, here, here, here, and here for examples) of what happens when one person tries to do a two-person job by themselves. The result is almost inevitably a nursing home fall with serious injury such as a hip fracture or a brain bleed.
This resident suffered from dementia and unsteadiness on her feet. She was coded on her Minimum Data Set (MDS) as having total dependence and requiring the assist of two with transfers. Her care plan called for use of a mechanical lift with the assist of two for all transfers.
On the day of the accident, the aide was transferring the resident from her bed to the wheelchair without the help of another aide. As the resident was placed into the wheelchair, she began to slide forward out of the sling. The aide attempted to slowly lower her to the ground, but she came down on top of her ankle, breaking her tibia and fibula.
The citation does not say what was done for her in the way of medical care, but this is an injury which would normally require surgical repair. Given her age and overall condition, they hay have attempted to address the fracture by casting. Either way, this injury will cause significant additional debility and set the state for additional complications such as bed sores.
This was the kind of injury which should never have happened. This was a resident who required the help of two for this transfer, but the aide attempted to do so on her own. Having one person attempt a two person job is the hallmark of an understaffed nursing home. Sadly, understaffing a nursing home is a hallmark of the nursing home business model. One of our core beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary accidental injuries and wrongful deaths of nursing home residents are the inevitable result. Order our FREE report, Built to Fail, to learn more about why. Our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers are ready to help you understand what happened, why, and what your rights are. Contact us to get the help you need.
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