Officials at the Minnesota Department of Health have cited a Sunrise Senior Living facility in Rochester, MN for improper care after the facility failed to provide medical attention to a patient who was visibly injured in an altercation with another patient. According to the department of health investigation, a resident sustained a bruise to his head after he was kicked by another resident.
Despite visible bruising and swelling on his head, staff at the Sunrise facility failed to summon any medical attention for more than 24-hours after the condition was originally noticed. The man died due to a traumatic brain injury approximately two weeks following the incident.
In citing Sunrise, authorities now require the facility to:
- Review their response system to patient injuries
- Consider the appropriate time frame for contacting a nurse following an injury
- Consider types of injuries that merit prompt medical attention
- Educate staff and family members about changes made at the facility
- Inform on-call staff regarding medical concerns / client needs when they begin their shift
- Review weekend staffing needs
So, would the preventative measures really have made any difference?
My guess is that the staff intervention would have little– if any impact on the patient’s outcome. However, I certainly do take issue with the way in which the staff responded to this situation. At the very least, all feasible steps should be taken to minimize the pain experienced by residents following an injury. This usually means getting medical attention.
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