IDPH has cited and fined Integrity Healthcare of Alton after a resident was injured in a fall from the edge of her bed.
The resident at issue had severely impaired cognition, had poor balance, and required extensive assist from the staff with her activities of daily living. She was known to have musculoskeletal weakness and poor balance and often leaned to one side while sitting.
On the day of the accident, an aide had her seated on the edge of the bed. The aide left her seated by herself while she went to get the resident’s bra. While she stepped away from the resident, the fell forward, suffering a broken nose. When interviewed by the state surveyor, the aide told the surveyor that the resident had good days and bad days and “I guess she was having a bad day” on the day of that fall. A member of the physical therapy staff stated that the resident required extensive assist 75% of the time and required contact guard assist (meaning actually having hands on the resident, but providing no other physical support) the balance of the time.
The aide’s observation that this resident had good days and bad days and was apparently having a bad day on the day that she was injured is an interesting one. Nursing home residents have good days and bad days and which will be which is inherently unpredictable. This is why when fall prevention care planning is done, it should be based on the what is needed to keep the resident from harm on the bad days, and that level of care should be delivered day to day, shift to shift. Operating on the basis that the resident will be having a good day is doing nothing more than gambling with the safety and well-being of the resident.
The resident here was brought to the emergency room where x-rays showed that she had a broken nose. While this may not be a catastrophic injury from this nursing home fall, it does not minimize the safety principles that were being violated. The extent of the injury is not a reflection of skill or good care on the part of the nursing home staff, as this kind of fall could have just as easily resulted in a fractured hip, a brain bleed, or worse.
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 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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