IDPH has cited and fined Manorcare of Arlington Heights nursing home after a resident there fell from a shower chair, suffered a brain bleed, and died.
Providing basic personal care, like bathing and showering residents, is one of the basic tasks that needs to be done in a nursing home. However, like any task in a nursing home, it needs to be done safely.
The resident at issue suffered from a number of conditions, most notably Alzheimer’s and her care plan called assistance of two for transfers and bathing. On the day of the accident, the resident’s husband asked the staff to give her a shower. She was brought to the the shower with two aides, but the one of the aides left because the family did not want to have her showered by male aides. The resident was placed in a regular shower chair and the one aide gave her a shower. When it was time to get her out of the shower, the aide was calling for other aides who were on their way when the resident fell forward out of the shower chair and hit her head on the floor.
She was brought to the hospital where a CT scan showed that she suffered a subdural hematoma. She died two and a half weeks later. Cause of death listed on the death certificate was closed head injury and fall.
First, the care plan called for the assist of two while bathing the resident. While two aides were used to bring her to the shower and the aide was calling for help after the shower was over, the fact remains that the aide gave the resident a shower by herself. This resident obviously had issues with poor trunk control which means that she could not be counted on to remain in an upright position without assistance. That was one of the reasons why two aides were needed to give this resident a shower. Going it alone was a violation of the resident’s care plan and a gamble with the resident’s safety – one which obviously had disastrous results.
Second the aide, used an upright shower chair rather than one that reclined. When a resident is unable to maintain an upright position due to a lack of trunk control (which is consistent with advanced Alzheimer’s), then using a device like a reclining shower chair is the right way to eliminate the lack of trunk control as a safety hazard for the resident.
Simple measures not taken led to this nursing home fall and the wrongful death of this nursing home resident. There are likely reasons that, when pressed, this aide would likely admit to being the reasons the aide did not take these simple steps – no time to wait for a second aide, no time to get the reclining shower chair – all of which amount to the nursing home being understaffed.
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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