The official cause of death fails to mention the injury, but there can be little doubt that the brutal fall and subsequent operation sustained by a resident at Collinsville Rehab and Health Care Center in Collinsville, Illinois were contributing factors to the resident’s death.
It was her third nursing home fall of the year, and the most serious. The first fall took place in March when the resident was trying to move herself from her bed to the wheelchair so that she could use the bathroom. There were no injuries noted, and the “Cause” and “New Interventions” portions of the Investigation Report were left blank.
The second fall took place three months later. This took place at the nurses station. After this fall, the Plan of Care was changed to indicate that an alarm was to be put in place to alert the nurses when the resident attempted to move.
The third and final nursing home fall occurred a month later. This time, it resulted in a severely broken hip. The resident returned to the nursing home on August first. A day later, she was admitted to hospice services. On the 22nd of August she died.
Nursing homes are required to assess each resident for nursing home fall risk and put interventions in place that will prevent falls from occurring. When nursing home falls do happen, a thorough investigation is supposed to determine what caused the fall. Afterwards, the nursing home should put some kind of intervention in place to prevent future falls.
The use of bed alarms, like the one called for after the second fall are common and effective, but only when they are used correctly. Another resident at the same facility was also assigned a personal safety alarm, and yet inspectors repeatedly found the alarm unattached to the resident.
As an experienced nursing home attorney, I would investigate whether or not the personal alarm assigned to the deceased resident was in use and functional. If it was not, the resident’s death may have been a wrongful death.
If you have a loved one who has been injured due to multiple nursing home falls in an Illinois nursing home, and you feel they may be the victims of nursing home neglect, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.