IDPH has cited and fined Sheridan Village Nursing & Rehabilitation nursing home in Chicago after a resident there suffered a fractured hip in a fall caused by him tripping over a bedside table which was left in the hallway.
One of the basic fall prevention strategies in nursing homes is to keep areas used by residents free and clear of clutter and tripping hazards. Areas such as hallways are used by a wide range of residents, some of whom may be at increased risk for falls as a general proposition. Others who may not be at high risk for falls still may be at risk for significant injuries such as brain bleeds associated with use of blood thinners or anticoagulant medications or hip fractures associated with osteoporosis or brittle bone disease. Keeping common areas free and clear of clutter and tripping hazards is a simple, low-cost measure to prevent serious injuries to nursing home residents.
Due to the pandemic and the need to maintain social distancing, the staff would at times bring residents bedside tables out to the hallway so that residents could eat dinner. This would allow them to maintain social distancing while at the same time have some ability to see and converse with one another.
Prior to this nursing home fall, the resident involved walked independently. At approximately 1 am, he was walking back to his room after watching television in the common room. There was a bedside table that had been left in the hallway from dinner hour. The resident stumbled over the bedside table, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the ground.
He was sent to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with a fractured hip and underwent surgery. At the time that the survey was conducted by IDPH, he was still rehabilitating the fractured hip but now was requiring assistance with walking and standing and many activities of daily living.
This was a highly preventable injury for this resident. While the goal of allowing residents to enjoy mealtimes together while maintaining social distancing is laudable, there was no need for the bedside table to be left in the hallway so long after the mealtime had passed. Leaving the bedside table in the hallway simply created an unnecessary tripping hazard, one which would have been alleviated by simply getting the table out of the way.
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.
Other blog posts of interest: