IDPH has cited and fined Elevate Care Abington after a resident there suffered a right ankle fracture in an incident which occurred due to staff attempting to manually transfer her from wheelchair to bed without using a lift, in violation of the resident’s care plan.
Much of the routine care that residents receive in a nursing home setting is shaped by the resident care plan. In the care planning process, an assessment is done to identify the resident’s care needs and risks to the health and well-being of the resident. A series of steps, or interventions, are then put into place which are intended to meet the resident’s needs. The staff members assigned to carry out those interventions then must do so on a day-to-day, shift-to-shift basis.
The resident at issue was morbidly obese. She was unable to bear weight, so her care plan called for transfers with a mechanical lift with the assistance of two staff members.
On the day of this nursing home injury, the lift that normally would have been used to transfer the resident into her bed was not used. In this case the aide believed that he could transfer the resident himself. He was quoted in the investigation saying “I can do it. I thought I can, just do it faster.”
Before being moved the resident even mentioned to the CNA that she needed two people and a hoyer lift to be transferred to the bed.
Despite the request of the resident to use a lift, the CNA went ahead and initiated a stand pivot transfer without any assistance.
After the pivot transfer, the resident had complaints of pain in the right ankle and knees. X-rays at the hospital showed that the resident had suffered a distal tibia periprosthetic fracture and distal fibula fracture as a result of the manual transfer.
The nursing home had a reasonable care plan in place for this resident – the problem was that the staff did not implement it. The care plan called for transfer with a lift, which was appropriate given her inability to bear weight. Rather than follow this care plan, the staff member attempted to transfer the resident manually. This was never likely to succeed given her inability to bear weight.
The fact that the staff member plowed ahead with trying to transfer the resident manually raises a question of whether this is an understaffed nursing home. This is true anytime you see the staff taking shortcuts which sacrifice resident safety. Sadly, understaffing a nursing home is a core feature 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.