IDPH has cited and fined Rosewood of Inverness nursing home after a resident there had both ankles broken as a result of an unsafe transfer using a mechanical lift.
The resident at issue had a history of having suffered a stroke with residual weakness. She had poor trunk control and general muscular weakness. She was coded as needing extensive assist with a mechanical lift for transfers to and from her wheelchair. The facility protocols called for two aides to be involved in all mechanical lift transfers. This is necessary to ensure that there is one aide to operate the controls of the lift and another to keep the resident steady and safe within the lift during transfer and to make sure that the resident is safely positioned at the end of the transfer.
In this incident, the resident was being transferred from her bed to her wheelchair by a single aide. When the resident was placed into her wheelchair, she was too far forward and slid forward out of the wheelchair. In all likelihood, her poor trunk control and general weakness kept her from being able to position herself far enough back in the chair to prevent her from having the fall. This is of course exactly why a second aide was required to do the transfer to start with.
The resident was brought to the hospital where x-rays showed that both ankles were fractured as a result of this nursing home fall.
The aide involved in this incident was fired for violating the facility’s policies and procedures, but the records from the facility showed that he had been trained on the proper use of the lift, including the need for the two aides to participate in every mechanical lift to transfer. The practice by aides of doing a two-person job with only one has been a recurrent theme in many of the accidents which we have covered in this blog (see here, here, here, here, and here just as a few examples). Since we know that this aide knew better than two try to do the job by himself (his training records showed that), the question is why did this accident happen?
The answer to that question likely relates to understaffing of the nursing home, which is a direct by-product of the business decisions that management makes about how to operate a nursing home. 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.
Other blog posts of interest: