Articles Tagged with nursing home falls

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State investigators have cited a nursing home for neglect in two fatal fall cases that occurred at the Minnesota facility just five months apart – one attributed to a faulty mechanical lift and another to a negligent aide. 

The Star Tribune reports the first incident involved a resident who fell while being assisted in the bathroom by a nurse’s aide who reportedly failed to use a gait belt (also known as a transfer belt) on her walker as she made her way to the bathroom. When the woman left the bathroom, she fell and struck her head on a wall, dying from brain hemorrhaging several days later.  The aide later explained she didn’t use the belt because she had forgotten it in another resident’s room. An investigation by the state concluded it was the aide’s fault for not properly using the equipment. She was disciplined with a five-day suspension from work and staffers were retrained on why using the gait belt is necessary.

Then a few months later, another resident suffered a fatal fall after slipping from a mechanical lift – one that nursing home staffers knew had a defective part. In that instance, the state did find the mechanical defect was the problem, but cited the nursing home anyway because there was evidence staffers were aware of those problems and used it anyway. The resident had been placed into the lift, but soon after fell onto the floor when one of the safety tabs popped off, resulting in the harness disengaging, dropping her. She suffered a broken leg, but died days later due to complications. An investigative report indicated the facility did not maintain the machine according to the instructions by the manufacturer. In fact, three of the four lifts in use at the facility reportedly had rubber safety tabs that often cracked or loosened, rendering the machines unsafe. The facility reportedly had no procedure through which to monitor this danger to residents. Continue reading →

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A number of recent cases of falls in nursing homes across the country underscore the danger peril in which it places elderly residents, and also the wide scope of the problem.

The first report follows a number of incidents at six nursing homes throughout Connecticut, where the state Department of Public Health issued fines after two residents died and several others suffered broken bones as a result of falls. The Hartford Courant reports one facility was fined after two serious falls, one fatal. In the first, a resident fell after the clip on a mechanical sling broke. He suffered a broken bone at the base of his skull and died less than a week later. In the second incident, a resident suffered a broken risk after an aide wrongly left the the resident alone.

In a third case, a resident on two anticoagulant drugs underwent emergency surgery and died after suffering multiple bruises sustained in several falls that were not immediately reported by the staff nurse. A fourth case in that state involved a resident who fell eight times within three month span, the last time striking his head on a chair and suffering a broken neck. The department alleged nursing home staffers failed to notify a physician for five full days. At that same facility, another resident suffered 22 falls and broke his hip twice in the course of six months. In yet another case, a resident fell an astonishing 34 times, suffering two head injuries and a broken hand. Another resident who fell after an aide failed to use protective legwear when moving a resident from a wheelchair to a bed suffered a laceration that required 11 stitches. Continue reading →

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A series of nursing home falls suffered by a patient in Minnesota foreshadowed a final, fatal fall from a wheelchair for an elderly resident last year.

Now, that nursing home, located in Duluth, has been cited for neglect.

According to news reports, the state health department alleges the center failed in its duty to comprehensively assess the high risk for falls posed to this resident, and further to reassess the risks after each incident. In fact, a state investigator found this particular patient fell 10 times between July 2014 and November 2014. Three of those falls occurred within days of each other – Nov. 17, Nov. 22 and again, finally, in Nov. 24. That last fall resulted in the resident’s death.

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