IDPH has cited and fined Generations at Rock Island nursing home after a resident there had to be hospitalized due to blood loss following an accident which occurred while being transported by facility staff to an eye doctor appointment.
At times nursing home residents will need to leave the facility to attend doctor appointments. Sometimes family brings them to the appointment, but other times, the nursing home staff will take them in a vehicle owned by the nursing home. When the staff transports residents places outside the facility, they need to know how to do so properly and what to do if there is a mishap along the way.
There were shortcomings on both counts here.
The resident at issue needed to be taken to an eye doctor appointment. He used a wheelchair and was an assist of two for transfers. There was a single staff member who was charged with taking him to the appointment. She was a CNA at the nursing home and had been doing transports for about 2 months before the accident. Before taking on that role, she received a single day of training from her predecessor.
The resident was loaded onto the van and his wheelchair was placed facing to the rear. A strap was threaded through the wheels but not the frame of the wheelchair. As they were going down a hill and coming to a stop, the wheelchair tipped backward, with the resident hitting his head on the floor in between the two front seats of van.
The aide asked the resident if he wanted to go to the hospital, but he declined saying that he didn’t want to miss his eye appointment. The aide helped the resident up and brought him into the eye doctor appointment. She then left to go back to the nursing home to report what had happened.
She told the floor nurse who told her to report it to the Director of Nursing. While she was doing that, the floor nurse called into the Director of Nursing and informed her that the resident was on anticoagulants, which increases the risk of a brain bleed after a nursing home fall. The Director of Nursing said that the resident needed to get to the hospital and brought him to the hospital on her own.
Meanwhile at the doctor’s office, the resident was complaining of pain in the leg following the fall. The doctor took a look at the leg and said that the resident needed to go to the hospital. When the aide returned, she loaded him into the van on her own. En route, the resident continued to complain of pain in the leg until he felt a sudden change in pressure and saw there was significant bleeding from the leg.
At the hospital, the resident was treated in the emergency room and then admitted to the intensive care unit where he needed to receive multiple units of blood to make up for the blood loss he sustained as a result of the nursing home fall.
There a few major issues with what happened here.
First, the aide was not trained how to secure the resident into the van properly. After the accident, the aide was retrained. Sadly, this was done by the facility maintenance man who had to do his own research about how to properly secure a resident in the van. There were no pre-existing training materials or instructions. It is small wonder that the aide did not get it right.
Second, the aide did not know how to address an emergency. As a CNA, she should have known to not move a resident after a fall until there was a proper assessment done of the resident’s condition. Nonetheless, that was what happened. She also did not have a phone or other means of calling the nursing home for guidance. She was simply left to make decisions on her own. Poor training all the way around.
This kind of poor training speaks to a lack of investment in the facility staff which is a hallmark of the for-profit business model that most nursing homes follow. 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.
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