Hoyer lifts can be very helpful. However, nursing home falls can result from Hoyer lift accidents.
How do nursing home falls happen when using a hoyer lift?
The simplest explanation for how Hoyer lift accidents occur is nursing home neglect.
A Hoyer lift is a mechanical device that is used to lift and transfer nursing home residents who are unable to move themselves. There are a number of different variations of the lift, but the common feature is that the resident is placed in a sling and then lifted and moved using the Hoyer lift. When the Hoyer lift is not used properly, the resident can suffer serious injuries, including fractures due to a nursing home fall .
There are a number of ways in which nursing home neglect can cause a Hoyer lift accident:
- Untrained Staff – each lift is different, and the staff must be trained and able to demonstrate competency in the use of the specific lift being used before being allowed to handle residents.
- Improper use of the sling and straps – if the resident is not placed properly in the sling and the straps are not properly hooked up to the lift, injury is likely to occur.
- Improper maintenance – If the lift and all of its component parts, including the sling, the straps, and all of the hooks are not properly maintained, there is an increased risk of injury.
- Inadequate staffing – some Hoyer lifts require two staff members in order to perform a safe transfer. When the staff decides to proceed with only one, a nursing home fall accident is likely to occur.
An important part of an investigation of any Hoyer lift accident in an Illinois nursing home involves obtaining all of the training materials provided by the manufacturer as well as the nursing home’s internal training materials and applicable policies and procedures, and the maintenance records for the lift and its component parts.
Used properly, a Hoyer lift should be a safe way to transfer nursing home residents. When a nursing home resident is injured while being moved on a Hoyer lift, there may be a reasonable basis for investigating and prosecuting a nursing home abuse and neglect suit.