IDPH has cited and fined Marigold Rehabilitation & Health Care Center after a resident there fell and suffered a laceration and subdural hematoma due to the failure of an certified nursing assistant (CNA) to properly use a gait belt in transferring a resident from her wheelchair to bed.
The resident in question fell while being transferred to bed by a certified nursing assistant (CNA). The resident suffered a laceration and subdural hematoma requiring hospitalization. The resident stated that when she tried to stand, her “legs gave out” and she fell, hitting her head on the bedside table. The resident reported that the CNA did not use a gait belt during the transfer, saying “The CNA did not use a gait belt on me. I probably would be ok if she did.”
The Director of Nurses acknowledged that use of gait belts is an expectation for staff assisting transfers and ambulation.
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) responded after the CNA called for help, finding the resident lying on the floor with a pool of blood under her head. The LPN stated she “did not see a gait belt on the resident.” The CNA admitted to removing the gait belt after the resident’s fall, acknowledging it was only partly applied under one hand at the time of transfer.
The failure to properly use the gait belt under these circumstances was a violation of the nursing home’s own policies and would be a reasonable basis for a nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit. The whole point of the policy is to avoid preventable nursing home falls like this one.
The real question to this though is why did the aide fail to properly use the gait belt even when the facilities policy was to use one? The answer will likely take some form of feeling rushed and with too much work to do and too little time to get it done. This is of course a consequence of understaffing of the nursing home which is a part of the nursing home business model.
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.