An individual was admitted to the Alden of Waterford nursing home in Aurora, Illinois for rehabilitation after undergoing hip surgery. Over the next month, chronic infections weakened the resident to the point where doctors ordered that two staff members and a knee immobilizer were to be utilized for any transfer from chair to bed, and that a gait belt was required when the resident was standing.
One month after this order was placed, the resident fell in the bathroom while being weighed. A single nurses aide was attempting to transfer and care for the resident. In addition, the knee immobilizer was not used nor was the gait belt.
The fall resulted in two broken bones in the resident’s knee as well as a condition called “foot drop.” Foot drop occurs during walking. The front of the foot will unexpectedly drop while walking. Needless to say, this makes walking extremely difficult. It makes further nursing home falls much, much more likely, and it makes the resident’s rehabilitation much longer and more extensive.
Three interventions were expressly called for, and yet none were followed. The staff member present was fired as a result of the error. On the surface, it appears like a single staff member failing to follow a plan of care.
However, investigations from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) uncovered the fact that the resident’s plan of care did not include the use of the immobilizer or two staff members for transfers.
Nursing home falls are extremely dangerous because of the damage from the initial fall and also because any extended nursing home stay leaves the door open for further falls and infections. This resident’s drop foot is very likely to lead to further falls and a tremendous curtailing of her independence.
One of our core beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary injuries from nursing home falls, other injuries and illnesses, 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.
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