The night nurse at the Heritage Health nursing home in Gibson City, Illinois removed the bed alarm from a resident with a long history of nursing home falls. The bed alarm was removed on December 12 of last year. A Heritage Health note states “bed alarm is making her not sleep at night as it sounds when she moves in bed and makes her agitated and upset. . . The night nurse removed her bed alarm and she sleeps much better and she is not upset or agitated.”
Just three days later, at 4:10AM, the resident was found on the floor of her room in severe pain after falling from her bed. The X-rays at the hospital revealed a broken hip. Hip fractures in nursing homes often lead to surgery which is particularly dangerous for the elderly. The follow-up report, a mandated part of every nursing home fall investigation that examines root causes and recommendations, was never finished.
There’s little question why. We have a hierarchy in our medical field for a reason. Becoming a medical doctor is a difficult task involving years of medical school and residency. Afterwards, the doctor is given the responsibility for making life and death decisions for all of us. Nurses are tasked with carrying out those decisions, never overriding them.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health Report, there was a long history of nursing home falls involving the resident, as well as a long history of poor documentation of nursing home notes. Many of the notes were “written in such a way as to be illegible.”
If you have a loved one who has suffered from numerous or serious falls in an Illinois nursing home, and you believe your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect, please contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers.
Other blog posts on nursing home falls: