The Arlington Rehab and Living Center in Long Grove, IL has been fined $1,100 for their failure to follow their own Fall Care Plan intervention for a resident who had suffered a prior fall and fell again. The resident was admitted to the facility after a nasty fall led to some severe lacerations that required staples to close. Due to the fact that the initial admission was because of injuries sustained from a fall, there can be no doubt that Arlington Rehab was aware that she was a serious fall risk. The resident was assessed to be a moderate risk of further falls, and her Fall Care Plan called for her to be supervised when walking in her room. Just a few weeks after her admission, she was walking unattended in her bathroom and fell again. In the hospital, she was diagnosed with a skull fracture. Three days later she was readmitted to the facility, and the Fall Care Plan was updated to include a bed alarm. Most nursing home beds include a call button that the residents can use when they need assistance. A bed alarm is a device that sounds a warning to staff when the resident exits the bed. Just one day later, the woman fell again. Investigators found that the bed alarm was never installed. Whenever a person is injured in a nursing home fall, the family of the loved one needs to consider whether the nursing home is guilty of nursing home neglect. Not every nursing home fall that takes place is predictable. A loss of balance can happen unexpectedly and a serious injury can result. However, when there is clear evidence that a resident is likely to fall, and the nursing home doesn’t take the proper action to prevent the fall, neglect has taken place. In this case, Arlington Rehab certainly knew that the resident was a fall risk, and they prepared a Fall Care Plan that might have been effective in preventing future falls. But the plan wasn’t followed. Of course, that makes the assessment and development of a plan completely moot.
Other blog posts on nursing home falls: