Nursing Home Cited For Mistreatment Of Resident Following Investigation Of Resident’s Fractured Neck

The Minnesota Department of Health released an investigative report concluding a resident of Presbyterian Homes of Arden Hills Nursing Home sustained a broken neck due to a fall or other trauma at the facility.  The investigation follows the death of 91-year-old Gladys Gall, a resident at the facility.  Despite the fact no federal or state nursing home violations were identified, investigators still determined there was ample circumstantial evidence to conclude the nursing home was at fault in the injury and subsequent death of Gall.

On April 18, 2008 Gall was admitted to an emergency room after complaining of head and neck pain.  A CT scan confirmed Gall’s pain was related to a cervical fracture. On April 28th, Gall died from complications related to the cervical fracture.

Gall was likely as high fall risk due to memory loss and advanced osteoporosis.  Gall required assistance from nursing home staff for most daily living activities.

Nursing Home Resident’s Fractured NeckInvestigators interviewed both Gall’s family as well as staff at Arden Hills in attempting to determine the cause of Gall’s broken neck.  Additionally, a neurosurgeon was consulted for the state’s investigation and verified Gall suffered a hangman’s fracture.  Further, the neurosurgeon opined the severity of the hangman’s fracture could not have occurred without trauma.  Although no specific traumatic event could be identified as the culprit of the injury, three conclusions were reached in the report:

  • Gall’s death was related to her cervical fracture
  • The neck fracture was related to a violent incident or fall
  • Someone at the nursing home was aware of what happened to Gall because she would have been unable to pick herself up following her type of injury

Nursing home officials dispute the state’s findings, pointing out the findings were not related to any specific event involving nursing home abuse or maltreatment nor can the report rule out an accident. Read more about this cervical fracture of a Minnesota nursing home resident here.

Nursing Home Falls

Falls are one of the most common sources of injuries amongst nursing home residents.  Despite, claims by nursing home officials that some falls are ‘unpreventable’, steps can be taken to minimize the risk of falls and related injuries;

  • Identify residents who may be at risk of falling
  • Provide adequate staffing to assist residents with transfers, toileting and general mobility
  • Remove clutter from the floors
  • Encourage residents to use assistive devices
  • Minimize the use of medications that can alter blood pressure

Learn more about the laws applicable to Minnesota nursing homes here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in Minneapolis , Rochester and St. Paul

Related Nursing Home Abuse Blog Posts On Falls

$50,000 Penalty Sought Against Nursing Home Where Resident Fell To Her Death

Falls Amongst The Elderly Can’t Be Ignored

Hip Fractures And Some Unsettling Statistics

Study Links Medication Use With Falls

Web Resource On Hangman’s Fracture

Traumatic Spondylolisthesis of the Axis (Hangman’s Fracture), Medscape Today


0 responses to “Nursing Home Cited For Mistreatment Of Resident Following Investigation Of Resident’s Fractured Neck”

  1. Jonathan Rosenfeld's Nursing Homes Abuse Blog says:

    Nursing Home Staff Must Take Precautions While Moving & Transferring Disabled Patients To Minimize Risk Of Dropping

    The most dangerous part of the day for many nursing home patients may be getting out of bed in the morning. When staff fail to supervise or provide proper assistance to nursing home patients during transfers, patients are at…

  2. Jonathan Rosenfeld's Nursing Homes Abuse Blog says:

    Bone Fractures In The Elderly Require Special Attention To Improve Recovery & Prevent Complications

    Many elderly people suffer broken bones during admissions to nursing homes due to; falls, being dropped, or perhaps improper care from staff. Regardless how the fracture occurred, a fractured bone in the elderly must be timely identified and treated. W…

  3. Kimbly says:

    My father was in a nursing home ands was pushed out of his wheelchair by a registered nurse. He had dementia and was told to lift his legs and could not. The nurse kept on pushing him forwards dragging his feet under his chair.
    He went.sailing on to the hard floor and was sent to the emergency room. The doctors sent him back to the come without a cat scan even though he had a huge laceration on his head that required, 10 stitches.
    Three days later I found out with lots of requests from the nursing home director that my dad was being sent top the hospital again for x rays after complaining of neck pain got 3 days tha he did have a fracture to his second vertebrae.
    He suffered for about three weeks after being on a constricting neck brace unable to eat or drink his body eventually began to shut down. He was 85 , but still had plenty of life left, in him.
    He was not given proper care at the nursing home which led to his demise he died on january 3 2011, and is very missed. Please think before placing someone you love in a nursing home as we as the family left behind suffers every day because of a nurses carelessness.

  4. Kimbly-
    What horrific treatment your father received at this facility– both at the time he was injured as well as his care following the incident. Certainly, this treatment is inexcusable. You may wish to report this incident to your state’s department of health to both further investigate your father’s situation as well as to lay the groundwork to potentially help other families who may be seeking a facility for their loved one.
    Best wishes,

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