A serious lapse in care led to facial contusions, lacerations, and other injuries after two certified nurses assistants (CNAs) left a Manorcare of Libertyville nursing home resident sitting unattended on the side of her bed. According to testimony from the staff, the resident “just went straight forward and landed on her head.”
A subsequent investigation revealed that the resident was not properly positioned on the mattress, and her legs were dangling off of the side of the bed. Neither of the two CNAs present were close enough to stop the fall from happening.
There’s little question that the Manorcare staff were aware of the resident’s acute need for constant assistance. She is 94 years old with muscle weakness, gait abnormality, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Immediately before the failed attempt to put the resident to bed, the CNAs had used a sit-to-stand lift to transfer her from the wheelchair to the bed. A sit-to-stand lift utilizes slings to lift a resident to a standing position.
The resident’s plan of care called for two staff members to assist for all transfers. It’s not enough for two CNAs to be present, however. They need to be properly trained in the procedures necessary to care for each resident. Clearly, the Manorcare CNAs were not.
Evidence collected during the investigation indicates that one of the CNAs left the room while the resident was sitting on the bed. For reasons that are obvious, if two staff members are required to be present for a transfer, they must be present and assisting in the entire transfer.
Nursing home falls are exceptionally dangerous to nursing home residents because the convalescence time needed for recovery can often lead to other complications including infections, pneumonia, and bed sores.