IDPH has cited and fined Oregon Living & Rehabilitation Center after a resident there suffered a broken leg after falling from the sling of a mechanical lift.
Done properly, a mechanical lift is a safe way to transfer residents who are unable to participate in moving from a bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to chair or toilet, and so forth. Using the lift takes the potential for accidents occurring due to loss of balance away and greatly reduces the risk of injury to the staff.
The key of course is the first part – “done properly,” and we have seen a number of incidents where residents have sustained major injuries due to unsafe practices in the use of a lift, most commonly where a single aide attempts to transfer a resident where the help of two is required, as happened here and here. The other area where errors might occur is where the resident is either not positioned in the sling properly, the sling itself is in disrepair, or the straps to the sling were not attached to the lift properly.
And this bring us to the situation involving this resident. This resident had a care plan which called for a two-person assist with transfer with a mechanical lift. On the day of the accident, there were two aides participating in doing the transfer. However, as they lifted the resident, she fell out of the side of the sling, landing on the ground and breaking her femur.
When interviewed by the state surveyor, the staff was not able to fully explain how the resident ended up falling out of the sling, but they agreed that there was no way that this should occur if the lift is being used properly. Based on the circumstances, it appears that the straps were not properly placed on the lift before the transfer was attempted.
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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