Many nursing home residents are unable to move to a different area of the home by themselves. Oftentimes this means that they are reliant on nursing home staff members to help them get from place to place. While many people may suggest that a wheelchair might improve mobility, getting out of bed and into a wheelchair is an important step that requires assistance.
Even though there are protocols in place on how to transfer a patient from one location to another safely, these procedures are oftentimes ignored because the staff member is in a rush, inexperienced, or negligent. This may result in dropped patients, which can lead to serious health complications.
The most important patient transfers
Most problems with dropped nursing home patients occur during routine transfers, these are the types of transfer that a staff members does several times every day, which is when complacency can become an issue. Some of the most common types of patient transfers include:
- Transferring from one chair to another
- Transferring from or onto the toilet
- Transferring from the wheelchair into a bath or shower
- Transferring from the bed to the wheelchair or vice versa
- When improperly using the Hoyer Lift
Injuries for dropped patients
It is important to remember that these dropped patients require assistance for a reason; oftentimes they are frail or bedridden. Add in the additional elevation at the time of the fall and the fact that their weakened condition can make it impossible for them to break their fall, and you understand why dropping elderly nursing home patients is a recipe for disaster. Some of the common injuries that are directly attributed to these falls include:
- Fractured bones or shattered bones – These include facial, arms, legs, and hipbones.
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- A fall may even be fatal
A serious issue
Remember that one out of three elderly fall every year and falls are the leading cause of deaths amongst patients over the age of 65. Perhaps more surprising is that patients’ in nursing homes are more susceptible to falls than those living on their own.
What is the reason behind dropped patients?
Oftentimes the reason behind dropped patients is not necessarily nursing home abuse, but because of staff members not following protocol or staff members using bad judgment. Remember that many nursing homes are trying to cut corners by providing less than adequate staff training, being critically understaffed, and not having the right type of equipment to help its patients.
If you know someone who was dropped at a nursing home, it is important to remember that poor judgment or brief moments of inattention are not excuses for potentially serious injury. Remember that ‘it was an unavoidable mistake’ is not good enough when it comes to dropped patients incidents. Taking legal action is not just about ‘being right’ or receiving compensation, it is about ensuring that a change is made in the future to avoid these problems for happening altogether.
Lawyers helping patients who have been injured while dropped by a nursing home staff member
Any nursing home or hospital patient who suffered an injury while being transferred or carried by nursing home staff has a right to recover damages for their injuries. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has prosecuted nursing home negligence lawsuits for patients seriously injured when they were dropped by nursing home staff. Some of our cases include: fractures, lacerations and subdural hematoma (brain bleed). Regardless of the extent of the injury, we will carefully examine your particular circumstance and determine the best avenue for you to pursue. Call us anytime. (888) 424-5757