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Fall In Stairwell Results In Paralysis– And Ultimately Death Of Chicago Nursing Home Resident

Picture-251The family of a Chicago nursing home resident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sacred Heart Nursing Home in connection to a fall at the facility.  The lawsuit asserts that Sacred Heart failed to supervise the nursing home patient with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and a propensity to fall.

The woman left her room without the knowledge of the nursing home staff and fell down a stairwell at the facility resulting in fractures to her back, closed head injuries and paralysis.  Eight months after sustaining the injuries, the woman died. 

The lawsuit is pending in Cook County, Illinois.  Read more about this nursing home lawsuit here.

Falls In Nursing Homes

Nursing homes have a non-delegable duty to conduct an assessment of a nursing home residents regarding their fall risk when the individual is admitted to the facility and re-assessment during their stay.  Although the nursing homes can not be held responsible for all falls in their facilities, nursing homes should be mindful of the following conditions that increase the likelihood of falls:

  • Vision problems, individuals inability to perceive light, glare levels and depth perception may result in their inability to identify fall risks
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Memory problems
  • Weakness in lower and upper extremities
  • Bladder dysfunction
  • Gait and imbalance problems

Irrespective of an individuals fall-risk assessment, nursing home staff should properly monitor residents to insure their well being and monitor dangerous areas such as: stairwells, bathrooms, kitchens and medical areas. 

For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.

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