Turning and repositioning are key elements in the prevention of decubitus ulcers (also known as: pressure ulcers, pressure sores or bed sores). In the process of repositioning patients, staff are to move the patient in their bed to relieve unrelieved pressure from areas on the body in contact with the bed.
Depending on the patients size and ability to move themselves, one or more staff members may be required to assist in the repositioning process. Regardless of how many staff are involved in the repositioning process, moving patients should be done gently as feasible to avoid alarming them to make sure any rigid limbs (contractures) do not get caught in the process.
Along these lines, a nursing home negligence lawsuit filed against an Illinois nursing home now claims that the staffs’ negligence in repositioning is to blame for the leg and knee fractures of an elderly woman.
The lawsuit names The Lincoln Home Inc. (Belleville, IL) and Weiss Management Group Inc. in the lawsuit that is filed in St. Clair County. In addition to the alleged improper care that resulted in the initial injuries, the lawsuit further alleges that the nursing home made the patient’s injuries worse (and caused her unnecessary pain) because they substantially delayed in obtaining medical treatment for her despite her obvious injuries.
Even after the woman was at the hospital, Lincoln Home allegedly continued to act inappropriately by sending a representative to the woman’s hospital room to get her to sign a statement related to the incident when she was heavily medicated.
Improperly Trained Nursing Home Staff
Admittedly, I don’t have much information about this incident involving The Lincoln Home, but I have worked on cases where inadequate staff training is responsible for injuries to patients during re-posiitioning maneuvers and transfers into and out of a bed.
In some cases, I was surprised to learn that the nursing home never instructed the staff on proper lifting technique nor safety precautions to take before doing so. I share the frustration of residents and families where a needless injury occurred due to the fact that staff were never give proper instruction to do their job.
Hopefully lawsuits, such as the one initiated against The Lincoln Home, will encourage facilities to make patient safety a primary issue in staff training.
Nursing home resident alleges staff failed to do anything about her broken leg The Record, October 28, 2010 by Andrea Dearden