One resident died after rupturing a blood vessel in his brain and fracturing his neck following his wheelchair tipped–anti-tipping devices were not in place. A second resident fell forward in her wheelchair and struck her head on the floor resulting in a concussion and laceration requiring stitches– a prescribed waist restraint was not in place. The similar incidents occurred within 48 hours of each other at the same nursing home.
What makes these unnecessary events so disturbing is that they occurred within days of each other–these are not isolated incidents. The events have prompted inspections by state nursing home inspectors. Pennsylvania Health Department, director of nursing-care facilities Bill Bodner, sums the situation up well, ‘the crux of our concern is the fact that in each case, there was miscommunication between the physician and nursing staff, and no clear plan of how the staff should treat these patients.’
Blame for these incidents falls squarely on the shoulders of nursing home staff. Nurses and other nursing home workers are trained not only to follow physician orders, but also must provide resident care as new needs arise. The above incidents are not the result complicated medical orders, rather they result from the most basic failures on the part of nursing home staff–failure to open their eyes. Read more about the failure of nursing home staff to prevent falls here.