Rolling Hills Manor nursing home in Zion was cited by the IDPH after a resident suffered a fractured arm and hip while getting a shower.
The resident suffered from advanced dementia. On the day that she was to be showered, she was transferred from bed to a wheelchair to be brought to the shower by two CNA’s. During the transfer, her foot got caught in the sheets, her leg twisted and she said “ouch”. After she was brought to the shower, she became combative, leading one of the CNA’s to pin her arms against her side to give her a shower.
When she was returned to bed, one of the aides noticed that her arm looked different. This apparently provoked an eventual transfer to the hospital where it was discovered that she had a broken arm and broken hip. The orthopaedic surgeon was told that this happened in a fall and he believed that the injuries were consistent with that.
These are the issues I see with the care that this resident was provided:
- The transfer was done improperly as it resulted in her foot being caught in the sheet, her leg twisting, and her breaking a hip. The resident was known to suffer from osteoporosis, so this is not a surprising outcome. Simply checking to make sure that her feet were clear before beginning the transfer would have avoided the hip fracture.
- Once she arrived in the shower room, she became combative. The likely reason – pain from a freshly fractured hip.
- This was not her first time being combative. In fact, this kind of behavior was addressed in her care plan, which called for the staff to take a break before continuing with care. The staff pressed forward rather than take the break the care plan called for.
- The solution to the combative behavior – pinning her arms to her sides – should never be seen as acceptable and was truly a form of nursing home abuse and likely resulted in the broken arm. Why didn’t the staff follow the care plan and simply take a break from care? The likely reason is that they had more work to get done than they had time to do it – the signature of an understaffed nursing home. This probably also contributed to the underlying problem where her foot became entangled in the sheets.
This is a simple set of facts where the likely root cause of the accident was the failure of the nursing home to have enough staff on hand to meet the care needs of the residents. A very preventable and regrettable set of injuries.
If you have a loved one who suffered unnecessary injuries due to understaffing in a nursing home, we are here to help. Contact our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers to find out what your rights and options are. There is no charge for the call and there are no fees if we do not get a settlement or verdict in your favor.
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