Two residents of the Medina Nursing Center in Durand, Illinois were the victims of nursing home neglect when botched transfers resulted in broken bones. One resident sustained a broken rib, and the other a broken leg as a result of the failed transfer.
The first resident was injured when a single certified nurses aide (CNA) attempted to mover her from her wheelchair to her bed using a mechanical lift. When a resident is completely dependent on staff members for daily activities, a mechanical lift, like a hoyer lift, is used to effect transfers.
A Hoyer Lift utilizes slings to completely lift and support the body while moving from one place to another. When used properly, they are vital pieces of safety equipment that preserve the quality of life for thousands. When used incorrectly, like any other tool, the results can be disastrous.
When a Hoyer Lift or other type of mechanical lift is used to transfer a completely dependent resident, two staff members are always necessary. These devices utilize slings to support the complete weight of the resident, which means that patients can twist, slip, rotate or slide out of the lifts resulting in dangerous nursing home falls if proper procedure isn’t followed.
Closed circuit cameras captured a single CNA transporting the mechanical lift into and out of the Medina Nursing Home resident’s room after large bruising and a broken rib were detected on the resident.
The second resident was injured while being turned, a routine procedure for two CNAs. Again, only a single staff member was present to make the adjustment.
Nursing homes need to provide an adequate number of staff members to perform their prescribed duties. Although Medina Nursing Center staffing levels were rated three out of five stars by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the fact that two separate injuries took place with fewer staff present than required raises questions as to the accuracy of that assessment.
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