IDPH issued a citation and fined Tower Hill Healthcare Center in South Elgin after a resident suffered a fractured femur during an improper transfer.
The resident in question had lower extremity contractures and as a result, her care plan called for to be transferred from bed to her wheelchair using a mechanical lift with an assist of two. On the morning in question, rather than use the mechanical lift, the aide attempted a pivot transfer to move the resident from her bed to her wheelchair. In the process of doing so, the aide lost control of the resident dropping her to the floor. Rather than call for a nurse and report the fall, the aide got her back into her wheelchair and went about her day. As a result, the resident experienced pain all day before being sent to the emergency room at 8:40 pm, where a femur fracture was diagnosed.
There are a number of issues that are apparent from this situation:
- Clearly, the aide violated the resident’s care plan and this resulted in the femur fracture. This is a clear basis for a nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit. It very clearly should not have happened. The more interesting question is why? Did the aide not know what the care plan called for? Was the facility so understaffed that the aide chose to rush through the process of getting the resident out of bed because of the press of work to be done? A “yes” answer to either question speaks to systemic problems at this nursing home.
- The aide failed to notify the nurse of the fall when it occurred, and as a result, there was a delay of several hours in getting the resident to the emergency room. CNA’s are not trained to evaluate whether a resident suffered an injury in a fall, and with falls, there are situations where there is a delay in the onset of symptoms which is why there is a 72-hour fall watch in well-run nursing homes.
- This resident was on a blood thinner. Fractures bleed, and when a resident is taking a blood thinner, the bleeding will be more significant than it might otherwise be. This is all the more reason that falls involving nursing home residents who are on blood thinners must be reported and addressed immediately.
Nursing home falls involving unsafe transfers such as this one are the very definition of an unnecessary injury. This one in particular appears to have roots in the very way that the nursing home was operated.
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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