IDPH has cited and fined University Nursing & Rehab in Edwardsville after a resident was burned by a hot pack applied by a CNA.
The resident at issue suffered from multiple medical conditions including Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, and lower back pain. There was an order entered to administer hot packs to her lower back three times per day. There was a problem with that order: the facility didn’t use hot packs and didn’t have any in the facility. A CNA obtained a hot pack (the citation doesn’t say from where), placed it in a pillow case, and applied it to the resident’s back. As a result of the application of the hot pack, the resident sustained second degree burns.
There are a few issues that come immediately to mind with this. First, the nurse should have known and told the doctor that the facility doesn’t have and/or use hot packs. This is a simple issue of proper communication between the nurse and the doctor. If the doctor really wanted the hot packs administered, he could have ordered that the treatment be adminsitered elsewhere of found other alternatives to a hot pack. The failure of the nurse to have that conversation indicates that she did not know what kinds of modalities could be used properly in the facility.
Second, the hot pack was administered by the CNA who was not trained in its use. A hot pack seems like a simple thing to use, but with a geriatric patient population, it can be a tricky thing. As people age, their skin thins, which is part of the reason that seniors are so vulnerable to the development of bed sores.
Instead of acknowledging that the order could not be implemented, the staff here did something that they were not trained to do, and injury to the resident resulted.
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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