The resident was wheelchair-bound but self-propelled at times. “Self-propelling” for residents in wheelchairs means that they use their feet to pull their chair forward. It is a good thing for them in that it promotes activity and social interaction. In order for them to self-propel effectively, the foot rests need to be removed from the wheelchair so the foot rests do not interfere with their ability to use their feet.
However, residents who self-propel rarely do so 100% of the time, and when that happens, they need to be treated like every other resident who uses a wheelchair. That means that the wheelchair must be properly equipped with foot rests. Without foot rests, they are at risk for nursing home falls due to their feet becoming entangled with the wheelchair, with the floor, or with the environment around them. When that happens they risk sustaining lower leg fractures or being thrown from the wheelchair.
That was what happened to this nursing home resident. An aide began pushing the resident without first putting the foot rests on the wheelchair. Her foot got caught and she was thrown from the wheelchair. She suffered a laceration to the forehead and was sent to the emergency room where a scan showed the brain bleed.
The nursing home had long-standing policies which required the use of foot rests when moving a resident in a wheelchair. The reason for that policy was grounded in assuring resident safety. Obviously, that policy was not followed, and this fall and injury occurred.
One of our core beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary 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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