IDPH has cited and fined Lexington of Streamwood nursing home after a resident there suffered a fractured leg as a result of an improper transfer involving a mechanical lift.
The resident at issue was 92 years old and suffered from advanced dementia with mobility and strength deficits. He was wheelchair bound and required transfers to be done with a mechanical lift with an assist of two. However, on the night of his injury, his was transferred to bed from his wheelchair by an aide who did the transfer alone and not with the assist of a second staff member.
Later that night, he was noted to have a red mark and swelling on his thigh. Despite this change there was no assessment done until the following morning when he complained of pain as well. Orders were obtained for x-rays done there which showed that there was an acute complete displaced spiral fracture of the femoral shaft. This was an injury which required surgery with the placement of hardware to repair.
This is a secenario which we have covered in this blog repeatedly (here, here, and here, for example) because IDPH writes citations on this over and over again. It is simply not safe to use a mechanical lift to transfer a resident, as it places the resident at risk for experiencing nursing home falls and other mishaps, such as occurred here.
If doing this is something that is so obviously dangerous, the question is, why do staff members continue to do this in nursing homes all over the state? The likely answer is understaffing – as staff members wait for a second to assist with the transfer, they can feel themselves slipping further and further behind on the tasks that they need manage, and they decide to take the risk … and the resident ends up paying the price.
Why do we have nursing homes that have staffing issues when federal regulations require them to have sufficient staff on hand to meet the care needs of residents on a 24/7 basis? Nursing homes are for-profit business where decisions are driven by businessmen not healthcare professionals as is the case everyhwere else in the healthcare sector. One of our core beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary accidental injuries and wrongful deaths of residents are the inevitable result. Order our FREE report, Built to Fail, to learn more about why. Our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers are ready to help you understand what happened, why, and what your rights are. Contact us to get the help you need.
Other blog posts of interest: