Southgate Health care Center in Metropolis has been cited and fined by IDPH after a resident sustained multiple fractures due to falling during a transfer in which the aide was not using a gait belt.
The resident at issue was 88 years old and suffered from Parkinson. She had contractures and had been non-weight bearing for a long time. The staff was transferring her from her bed to her wheelchair. She was care planned as a two-person assist due to the extensive weakness she had due to the Parkinson’s. The aide had the resident seated on the edge of the bed while she waited for another aide to come help her with the transfer.
Suddenly the resident began to slide off the edge of the bed. Because there was no gait belt on the resident the aide was left to try to stop the fall by grabbing under her arms. She could not stop the fall and the resident fell to the floor. A nurse was called into the room, and they lifted the resident to the bed by her arms after checking for signs of injury.
After being brought to the dining room, the resident began to complain of shoulder pain, so she was brought to the emergency room where a CT scan showed that she had a fractured clavicle and a fractured sternum.
This nursing home fall was a very preventable accident. First this resident should not have been placed on the edge of the bed. The resident was not able to bear her own weight due to the contractures and the Parkinson’s so leaving her on the edge of the bed was simply an invitation for a fall to occur. Second, the aide did not have a gait belt on the resident. Use of a gait belt is a key safety messure when a resident needs asssitance with walking or being transferred because it allows the aide to control the resident without grabbing onto limbs or clothing as happened here. This resident’s injuries were to her chest and shoulders which were not directly impacted in the fall, but which were manhandled in the effort to break her fall and then get her back into bed.
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 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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