IDPH cited and fined Generations at Lincoln nursing home in Lincoln after a resident suffered a torn meniscus when his leg got caught underneath his wheelchair.
The resident had been admitted to the nursing home for rehab after breaking his fibulea in a fall at home. He was wearing a heavy boot to stabilize the fracture and was largely wheelchair bound.
On the day of the injury, he was sitting in his wheelchair when an aide came to take him to get showered. He asked the aide to put on the footrests because the boot was heavy. She explained that she did not have time to put om the footrest and told him to keep his legs raised. She began to push him quickly toward the shower, but he could not keep his legs up the whole way. As he legs touched the ground, his leg rolled under the wheel of the wheelchair.
Following the accident, he was no longer able to bear weight. He was sent for an MRI which confirmed that he had a torn meniscus, or torn cartilage, in his knee. Additional surgery for that may be required.
The nursing home here had a policy here requiring that foot rests be used when staff is transporting a resident in a wheelchair. The purpose of that policy was simple – to prevent these kind of very preventable accidental injuries to residents. The aide violated the policy and the injury that the policy was intended to prevent occurred.
What was interesting about the citation was the reason that the aide gave to the resident is the explanation she gave the resident as to why the footrests could not be used – she was too busy. That is something that is emblematic of a nursing home that is understaffed. When a nursing home is understaffed, simple steps like putting footrests on a wheelchair or using two aides instead of one on a mechanical lift do not get followed and injury to residents is the inevitable result.
It is also important to keep in mind that this was a short-term rehab resident who was not suffering from dementia. That meant that he was able to give a full, accurate accounting of what happened and why. There are many times when the staff takes a shortcut due to understaffing where they get away with it in the sense that nothing bad happens and there are other times where something bad happens and the staff is able to attribute what happened to something else because the resident is unable to speak for themselves.
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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