A “transfer” in the nursing home and long term care lexicon is the act of moving a dependent resident from one state of rest to another. This can include a move from a bed to a wheelchair, a wheelchair to a toilet or shower, or any one of a dozen different permutations.
If you think for a minute about how often you move from one spot to another over a course of a day, you’ll get some sense of how often these transfers take place.
It doesn’t take much imagination to understand why these transfers are both extremely tricky and very, very dangerous. Nursing home residents exist on a sliding scale of dependency. Some nursing home residents are extremely independent and require little or no assistance with transfers, while some residents are completely dependent, unable to bear even the slightest weight on their legs or hands. Is it any wonder that it’s during these transfers that most nursing home falls and other nursing home injuries take place?
The Gilman Healthcare Center is a for-profit nursing home with 99 beds located in Gilman, Illinois. The resident at the center of the recent nursing home inspection is an Alzheimer’s patient, with congestive heart failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as well as an eating disorder. In short, she is a very fragile person.
The first incident involved three skin tears to the Gilman Healthcare Center resident’s arms. These cuts were dismissed as being caused by “wiggling” in her chair. The next incident was more serious. Two certified nurses aides (CNA) were moving her from her bed to her wheelchair. Protocol called for a gait belt to be used to steady her during the transfer, but this order was not followed.
As a result, the woman’s foot caught on an exposed bolt, and injured her ankle requiring an emergency room visit and sutures to close. Instead of using the gait belt, the Gilman Healthcare Center CNA grasped her under both arms and lifted her through the air. She “thought this would be a smooth transfer, but it did not turn out that way.”
Fortunately, the damage was relatively minor. Many nursing home falls are much more serious. If you have a loved one who has been severely injured in an Illinois nursing home fall, and you think nursing home neglect was a factor, contact our Chicago nursing home lawyers for a free evaluation of your case.
Other blog posts on nursing home falls: