IDPH has cited and fined Jerseyville Manor nursing home after a resident there suffered a fractured femur after being left unattended sitting on the edge of the bed.
One of the things that place nursing home residents at risk for falling is a lack of trunk control. As people age and become debilitated or suffer from neuromuscular conditions, they tend to lose strength in the abdominal muscles and lower back muscles which help people maintain a good, upright position while seated. Without having good trunk control, the weight of the upper body can easily pull the resident in one direction or the other, placing them at risk for falls from a seated position.
The resident here was at high risk for falls and per his care plan was a two person assist using a mechanical lift for transfers. The aide had placed the resident in the sling for the lift with the resident seated at the edge of the bed and went out in the hall to get the resident’s high back reclining wheelchair. While she was doing that the resident fell out of bed.
The initial post-fall assessment did not show any injuries, but later the staff noticed dark bruising behind the resident’s right knee. They obtained orders for an x-ray which showed that the resident that the resident had a fractured leg.
This was a highly preventable nursing home fall. The edge of the bed is an especially difficult place for a resident with poor trunk control to be placed because residents will either be close to upright if they have their feet on the floor or if they are seated further back, there will be no point of contact with the ground. It is a much more difficult place for a resident to stay upright where he has little to no trunk control.
This also is a one of the situations which we have blogged about repeatedly here: one person doing a two-person job (see here, here, here, here, and here for examples). This resident should not have been left unattended while seated on the edge of the bed. Having two people involved in a transfer allows one person to handle the equipment and one person to handle the resident. With no one there to handle the resident, this fall resulted.
The real question is why was there no one there to actually handle the resident – and that goes to the issue of understaffing of the nursing home. Understaffing is a planned part 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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