A resident of the Watseka Rehab and Health Care Center in Watseka, Illinois suffered from facial lacerations and a subarachnoid hemorrhage after falling from her bed. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is the term used when blood fills the area between the skull and the brain. It’s an extremely dangerous condition.
The injured resident was an Alzheimer’s patient. That diagnosis included cognitive difficulties and total assistance with all daily activities including eating, bathing, and getting in and out of her bed and wheelchair. She also has a history of falls. An Alzheimer’s patient requiring this level of assistance has certainly progressed well past the initial stages of the disease. It would be highly unlikely that any competent caregiver could fail to identify the fragility and helplessness of the resident.
The resident’s physician made several orders regarding her care including an alarm device fitted to her bed and chair. The physician also ordered a bed that could be lowered close to the ground while the resident was in it and a mat to be placed on the floor. Clearly, the risk of a catastrophic injury as a result of a nursing home fall was foremost on the physician’s mind.
In spite of these precautions, the resident experienced a nursing home fall from her bed at the Watseka Rehab and Health Care Center. The mat was not on the floor. The bed was not in a lowered position.
According to the testimony from the certified nurses aide (CNA) present at the time, he had only just moved the mat from the floor. He also testified that the bed was in the lowered position, although his fellow employees refuted that assertion.
Nursing home falls are some of the most dangerous risks that exist in nursing homes because, in many instances, the most deadly ramifications from the fall are not realized for weeks or months after the fall has taken place. Injuries that restrict mobility can easily lead to infection, bed sores, pneumonia, and more.
Other blog posts on nursing home falls: