Southgate Nursing Home in Metropolis received a citation from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) after a resident was dropped from a lift and sustained two fractures to her lower back and a brain bleed.
The resident was assisted by only one staff member who helped her shower, moved her from the shower chair and back into her bed. In the process, the sling tore and the resident fell, landing on top of the legs of the lift.
An ambulance was called and she was transferred to the local hospital where it was determined that she sustained two fractures in her lower vertebrae and had a brain bleed.
About Mechanical Lifts
Mechanical lifts are used to move people who can’t stand on their own, or whose weight makes manually moving or lifting them unsafe. They are designed to drastically reduce the strain from lifting the patient and lower the risk of injury and accidents during the moving process.
They’re usually used in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings to transfer patients from their bed to their wheelchair, and other locations.
When used properly, mechanical lifts are invaluable tools for nursing homes, especially because many residents have mobility issues.
A mechanical lift should be operated properly to ensure the safety of the person being moved. Although there are various types of lifts, the principles to operate them are essentially the same. It requires the assistance of two staff members — one to hold the resident steady in the sling and another to control the lift and devices on it.
Understaffing Results in Serious Injuries
In this particular case, the nursing home failed on two levels.
First, the sling wasn’t an actual sling. Instead, it was a lift sheet with loops in the corner. This makeshift sling tore and resulted in the resident’s fall.
Second, the staff member was single-handedly doing what was supposed to be a two-person job.
Since mechanical lifts require two people to safely operate, the main issue in this is that the nursing home was woefully understaffed.
Understaffing results in a lack of adequate care for the residents because staff members feel pressured to cut corners to accomplish all assigned tasks. Fatigue and overwork may also lead to the abuse and neglect of residents, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
And as evidenced by this case, understaffing can lead to avoidable injuries.
Call an Illinois Nursing Home Lawyer Today
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 results. Check out our FREE report, Built to Fail to learn more.
Our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers are ready to help you understand the legal options available to you, determine if you have a case, and ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
Contact us to schedule a consultation.
Click here to file a nursing home complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health.
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