IDPH has cited and fined Symphony of Buffalo Grove nursing home when a resident suffered fractures to both legs during an unsafe transfer.
The resident at issue had been receiving hospice services for over a year based on a diagnosis of a failure to thrive. She was not able to communicate in a meaningful way, and required extensive assist with all transfers and activities of daily living. Her care plan called for the use of a mechanical lift for all transfers.
On the day of the accident, the resident was brought to the shower by a hospice aide (the fact that a hospice aide was involved in this is significant from a legal perspective because hospice staff are usually independent contractors) after having been transferred from bed to the shower chair using the mechanical lift. When they returned to the room, the lift was apparently not available so the hospice aide asked a CNA to help her lift the resident into bed using a towel under legs. They completed the transfer that way and got the resident into bed.
The following day, when an aide went to get her from bed, he saw that the resident’s legs did not look right, with there being an obvious bulge to one leg and the resident moaned in pain when it was touched. He got a nurse who in turn notified the doctor, who ordered an x-ray that showed both of the resident’s legs were broken.
The citation does not indicate whether the resident underwent surgery to repair the broken legs. Given her age and some of her pre-existing medical conditions, she likely would have been a poor surgical risk. However, similar to what happens to residents who suffer a hip fracture in a nursing home fall, these kind of fractures do not bode well for the long-term outlook for this resident.
The cause of these fractures was the violation of the resident care plan by the nursing home staff. When the CNA was asked about the transfer, and why they didn’t use the mechanical lift, he told the surveyor that he was busy that day. The staff being “too busy” to follow a care plan is a hallmark of an understaffed nursing home, which is of course a regular feature of the nursing home business model.
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 nursing home 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.
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