IDPH has cited and fined Pine Acres Rehabilitation & Living Center nursing home in Dekalb after a resident there suffered a spinal fracture in a fall from bed.
The resident at issue was 77 years old and suffered from Parkinson’s and dementia. She had a care plan in place which called for extensive assist assist of two with bed mobility. This means that two aides would be required from any activity which involves repositioning the resident in bed.
On the day in question, an aide checked the resident and discovered that she had suffered an episode of incontinence of bowel and began the process of cleaning her. The resident raised her legs up and she was moved to her side. The aide went to get a wash cloth and other supplies for cleaning the resident. As she did so, the resident slid from bed.
The resident was brought to the hospital where a CT scan showed a fracture at the C2 level, at the top of the neck. The citation references a neurosurgical consultation being obtained, but does not specify whether the resident underwent surgery or whether this nursing home fall resulted in the wrongful death of this nursing home resident.
This episode represents a simple matter of the failure of the nursing staff to implement a care plan. The resident suffered from Parkinson’s Disease which would have robbed her of much of her ability to control the movement of her body and would have left her with extensive musculoskeletal weakness. With this kind of chronic condition, extensive assist of two would have been appropriate with the kind of repositioning that is required to prevent the development of bed sores. The care plan was also communicated to the direct care staff as the need for a two person assist was apparently posted. The only reason that this resident was injured is that a reasonable care plan was not followed.
Sadly, this has been the same story told in several other recent blog posts involving falls from bed – like here, here, here, and here. Two people were needed to help the resident, one tried to handle the task alone.
Besides the simple story of a single aide trying to do a two person job by herself, the other level to this story is the question of whether or not this nursing home was understaffed. When you see an aide do something like this which they should know better than to try doing alone, the question is “why?” Sometimes the answer is that the nursing home did not have enough people to provide the care that the residents really needed, so the aide did the best they could to try to help that resident and all the other residents they were charged with caring for, and the gamble they took in trying to do a two-person job alone was lost in a big way — for the resident.
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: