IDPH has cited and fined Lexington of Orland Park nursing home after a resident there sustained multiple facial fractures in a fall.
One of the basic requirements for the right kinds of care to be delivered to residents in a nursing home is that the staff who is charged with delivering it must know what is required, whether it is in the form of physician orders, the resident care plan, or facility policies and procedures. Well-run nursing homes have systems in place which ensures that the staff is properly trained and know what each resident’s requirements are. When the staff doesn’t know what is needed, the potential for disaster lurks.
The resident at issue had been assessed as a fall risk due to a multitude of issues including a history of falls, dementia, and impairments of the lower extremities. There was physician order in place for the use of a bed alarm with the staff to check for placement and function. Use of a bed alarm with checks for function was also incorporated into the resident’s fall prevention care plan.
On the night of this nursing home fall, an aide saw that the resident was getting out of bed. She assisted the resident to the bathroom and then back into bed. Notably, the bed alarm was not sounding when she was seen getting out of bed, but the aide also did not know that the resident required a bed alarm and the resident was not placed on a bed alarm when she was returned back to bed. A few hours later, the resident was discovered on the floor near the foot of her bed. No alarm had sounded.
The resident was bleeding from the face and was sent to the hospital where a CT scan showed that she had sustained multiple facial fractures as a result of the fall. The injuries were significant enough that surgery would have been performed but for the resident’s age.
This was a fall which could have been and should have been prevented. Bed alarms serve two purposes: one is to alert the staff that the resident was out of bed, the other to remind the resident that they are supposed to wait for help. Failing to use an alarm deprived the resident of those opportunities to prevent the fall from occurring. Further, since the resident was found at the foot of her bed, this is an indicator that the alarm would have been sounding for a fairly long period of time before she started to fall. The failure to follow orders and the care plan led directly to this fall.
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.
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