IDPH has cited and fined Chateau Nursing & Rehabilitation in Willowbrook after a resident suffered multiple fractures in a nursing home fall.
The resident at issue had signiifcant cognitive impairments and needed extensive assitance with locomotion throughout the unit. Her physician told the state inspector that she did not have a concept of danger for herself. That is a classic example of a resident who is at high risk for falls – they have musculoskeletal issues and cognitive deficits that make it difficult for them to make good judgments about their own safety.
On the day of the injury, she was unattended in the dining room and got up from her chair, took a few steps forward hitting her face on the floor. While the Director of Nursing claimed that a nurse was present when the fall occurred, he denied being in the dining room but was at the nurse’s station from where he saw the fall occur. No other staff members were described as being in the dining room at the time.
As a result of the fall, the resident sustained multiple injuries including extensive bruising to her whole face, lacerations to her face and lips, a broken nose, and a fracture to her orbital floor.
During the course of the inspection by the state, multiple staff members agreed that this resident was a high fall risk and residents who are high fall risks should not be left unattended in the dining room. This is something that would be consistent with the requirements of federal regulations related to nursing home falls: they require that nursing homes provide residents with supervision and assistive devices necessary to prevent falls. In practice, in this facility, that meant not leaving high fall risk residents unattended in the dining room. Unfortunately, that was what happened and this injury was the result.
Falls are a serious issue in the long term care industry. In this patient population, the occurrence of one fall is often the precursor for additional falls (indeed, this resident had one fall before and one fall after this fall). Nursing home residents are at risk for serious injury such as hip fractures or brain bleeds (especially for residents who are on blood thinner medications), all of which can lead to the wrongful death of the nursing home resident.
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 results. 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.
Other blog posts of interest: