We reached a settlement on behalf of the estate of a Naperville nursing home resident. She was admitted to the nursing home as a long-term placement after suffering a fractured ankle at home. Her assessment designated her as a fall risk, and part of her care plan called for assistance while walking. The nursing home’s policy and procedures called for the use of a gait belt, or safety belt while walking. While she was being assisted by a CNA from the bathroom to her bed, the resident tripped on a carpet runner and fell, suffering a fractured hip. The CNA did not have the gait belt on the resident, in violation of the facility’s policies and procedures, but had it on her on waist insread.
After returning from the hospital to repair the fractured hip, the resident developed Stage IV pressure ulcers, or bed sores, on both heels. The pressure ulcer on one heel became infected and in turn caused a bone infection, or osteomyelitis. The bone infection resulted in sepsis and death for the resident.