The Illinois Department of Health has cited Helia Healthcare of Belleville after a resident fell from a mechanical lift when a paper transfer sheet broke mid-transfer. The resident suffered a head laceration and spent 22 days in the hospital.
Residents in healthcare facilities have different needs and require different types of assistance. For many seniors, transferring, or getting from one place to another, like chair to bed or bed to chair, can be quite difficult. In some cases, residents in facilities will need help from caregivers to safely transfer. A mechanical lift, when used correctly, helps to keep the senior safe during a transfer as well as the caregivers. Mechanical lifts are used when the senior can bear little to no weight and require significant assistance to transfer. The lift does the heavy lifting and keeps everyone safe.
In the case at Helia, the resident needed extensive assistance getting from his chair to his bed. His care plan noted that he needed to be helped by 2 staff at a time and that those 2 staff members needed to use a mechanical lift.
After the incident, the staff interviewed said that the facility had not had enough mechanical lift slings on hand. The staff said that leadership told them they could use a paper transfer sheet in place of a sling, which clearly goes against the safety instructions and precautions for the lift.
On the day of this nursing home fall the 2 caregivers used a paper transfer sheet that was not made for the mechanical lift. When the lift was in the air, the sheet split in half and dropped the resident to the floor. The resident hit his head and began bleeding from the impact. The resident was taken to the hospital, where he remained for 22 days.
This is the kind of unnecessary injury that occurs due to taking shortcuts in providing care to residents. Here there was a clear instruction, only use manufactured approved accessories, which was discarded for convenience sake and as a result, utterly predictable injury occurred.
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. 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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