IDPH has cited and fined Eunice C. Smith Nursing Home in Alton after a resident fell from the edge of her bed and suffered a broken leg.
The resident at issue was admitted to the nursing home for rehab. Her Minimum Data Set indicated that she required an extensive assist of two for bed mobility and transfers, which means that two staff were required to help move in bed and out of bed. She was on a law air loss mattress to help in healing of a bed sore.
On the day of this nursing home fall, the resident had an appointment in the wound care center. She sounded her call light to bring staff to help her. One aide arrived and lowered the “bumpers” (likely the side rails) and brought the resident to the side of the bed. The aide was holding onto the resident’s hand, but let go of it to change her position, and when she did so the resident slid from the edge of the bed and fell to her knees on the floor. The reason that she slid from the edge of the bed was that the air mattress was so slick.
She was sent to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with a complete fracture of the distal end of her femur. For lay people, this means the end of her thigh bone closest to her knee. This kind of injury is one which will likely require surgical repair, and for a resident whose ability to walk was already compromised, this is a serious injury indeed. Fractures which require surgical treatment (such as fractured hips) carry a high mortality rate in the months following the surgery for geriatric patients, assuming that she is even a surgical candidate.
This is of course a very preventable accident. The basic story here is that there was one person doing a two-person job, which has been a story that has been told repeatedly on this blog (see here, here, here, here, and here for examples). We believe that the most important question to ask is why did the aide proceed to try to transfer this resident by herself when it was a two-person job? The answer either lies in poor training or understaffing of the nursing home, both of which are features 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.
Other blog posts of interest: