Nursing Home Fined After Resident Slips Out of Lift During Transfer

State regulators have fined a charity funded nursing home $7,500 for failing to prevent a serious head injury sustained by an 87-year-old resident.  The Department of Public Health issued a severe citation, saying the nursing home failed to follow a comprehensive plan of care for a patient who was injured while she was being transferred between her bed and wheelchair.

Following this incident, the charity fund's board said that it could no longer afford to continue operating the facilities and that losses were jeopardizing other services it provides. But the fund was forced to postpone its closure plans after most residents refused to leave and mounted a campaign to keep the home afloat. Although dozens of nursing and hospital staff were laid off last year, no date has been set for the closure.

The incident happened May 28, when a certified nursing assistant (CNA) was moving the resident.  The resident slid out of the sling of a mechanical lift and fell to the floor, cutting her forehead to the bone. She required stitches to heal a wound that was about 6 inches long. In their report, state regulators noted that the nursing assistant did not follow protocol, which required two or more staff members to assist during such transfers, and continued moving the patient by himself even after her fall.

State records dating back to 2004 do not show any other so-called Class A citations, those that involve serious injury or imminent danger of death, for the nursing home.
The facility holds the position that the incident had nothing to do with under-staffing. It was simply an employee failing to follow protocol. The employee was terminated after the investigation. For more, read the story


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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