Nursing Home Staff Failed To Follow Care Plan For Transferring Resident Who Died After Fall

A resident of a nursing home was dropped several feet while being moved in a sling from her bed to a wheelchair and suffered broken bones that contributed to her death, investigators have concluded.

The  nursing home and a staff member share responsibility for the woman's death in late May, the Department of Health concluded.

The staff member, a nursing assistant, was cited for trying to move the woman by herself. Investigators said at least two staff members are required.

The home's chief executive officer characterized the woman's death as "an unfortunate accident, and we regret it very much.'' She said the facility took immediate corrective action, including staff training and the purchase of new equipment.

According to the report, the nursing assistant told investigators she had the resident in the sling about 4 feet off the floor before turning away to move a wheelchair into position. When she turned back, she saw the resident slipping forward out of the sling.

The resident broke an arm and a leg, and was admitted to a hospital, where she developed breathing difficulties and died two days later. Death records show that the woman had other ailments that contributed to her failing to survive the fall.

The hospital's internal investigation said the employee failed to follow the resident's care plan, which said such a transfer required two staff members. Investigators said the plan's wording was confusing and cited the facility for not adequately training the employee.

The nursing assistant was suspended during the investigation and then returned to the staff following retraining. For more, read the story.

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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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