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Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Discusses Problems With Patient Lifts, Transfers

The potential for an accident resulting in serious injury is possible anytime a nursing home patient is lifted, repositioned or transferred, whether manually by staffers or via a mechanical lift. Fort Lauderdale nursing home injury lawyers have seen case after case where an immobile nursing home patient has suffered serious and sometimes fatal outcomes as a result of nursing homes and staffers that were negligent in their moving or patients or in their poor planning in doing so. 

Lifting and transferring mishaps occur every day in Florida – even though federal regulators have clear guidelines and numerous healthcare providers know they need to follow them. One of the biggest problems is manual handling of patients, which most health care personnel recognize as problematic. Nonetheless, these problems are ongoing, sometimes because facilities don’t invest in adequate pieces of proper equipment to alleviate the need for nursing home aides and nurses to move patients themselves. Lack of training too is also too often a problem.

Fort Lauerdale nursing home injury lawyer complaints have focused on injuries during transfers and lifts most especially at times involving:

  • Transfers to and from bed to chair, chair to toilet, chair to chair or car to chair;
  • Transfer to and from chair to stretcher;
  • Bed repositioning (side to side/ up or down);
  • Chair repositioning;
  • Patient transfer from sitting to standing or standing to sitting;
  • Weighing;
  • Bathtub, shower, toilet activities.

If a nursing home patient slips, is dropped or falls during this kind of movement, it can be the result of negligence, which can be actionable if it results in serious injury such as:

  • Fractures, especially to the hip, femur, wrist, arm and face
  • Brain bleeds, also called subdural hematomas
  • Lacerations
  • Wrongful death

This often happens when staffers either lift the patient on their own knowing they aren’t strong enough or after failing to ensure they are properly positioned. Despite knowing how dangerous these kinds of transfers and lifts are, yet they occur almost every day in this state.

Lift/ Transfer Cited in Florida Nursing Home Injury Lawsuit

A woman in Palm Harbor (outside of Tarpon Springs, near Tampa) is alleging nursing home negligence resulted in injuries to her father. Specifically, according to Florida Record, the patient’s leg snapped and fractured when an improperly-operated lift wrapped sheets around the patient’s legs, causing the sheets to become caught and tangled and ultimately causing the leg to break.

Plaintiff alleges it was the nursing home operators’ failure to use reasonable care that resulted in her father’s injuries. Specifically, not only where staffers not properly trained in use of the lift and then inadequately supervised in their duties, they also failed to react to his complaints and injuries in a timely manner, further exacerbating his nursing home injuries.

Because the nursing home has refused to settle, plaintiff is seeking a trial by jury.

Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Warns Lifts are Dangerous

It’s not the first time a mechanical lift has been central to a serious injury at a nursing home. Two years ago in Massachusetts, a nursing home injury proved fatal when a 21-year-old certified nursing assistant attempted on her own to use a mechanical lift to move an 83-year-old woman – despite manufacturer instructions clearly indicated two people were necessary to safely complete such a job. The woman was improperly placed in the lift, according to a report filed with state regulators. The result was the woman slipped out, fell to the ground and broke both her legs. She died two days later.

An investigation would later reveal the nursing home fall rate for that particular facility was twice as high was the state average.

Any Fort Lauderdale nursing home injury lawyer watching this problem for some time knows even Congress tried to step in at one point with H.B. 4266 in 2015, which would have barred manual lifting, but the bill died in committee early the following year.

If your loved one is hurt in a nursing home lift injury, our dedicated legal team can help.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

Daughter blames nursing home operators for father’s injuries, Nov. 8, 2018, By Philip Gonzalez, Florida Record

More Blog Entries:

Choosing a Nursing Home in Fort Lauderdale? Consider the Smoking Policy, Nov. 7, 2018, Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Blog

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