Resident at Augustana HCC Apple Valley Suffers Fractured Femur After Fall From Lift
According to a report from the Minnesota Department of Health, dated January 17, 2017, it is alleged that a client at Augustana HCC of Apple Valley was neglected when the facility staff failed to safely transfer a resident using a lift. The resident had a fall and was hospitalized with a right femur fracture.
Substantiated Neglect Against Augustana HCC Apple Valley After Fall
Based on the preponderance of evidence, neglect occurred when the alleged perpetrator (AP) incorrectly transferred the resident using a standing lift. The resident fell, sustained a right femur fracture and required surgery.
The resident was cognitively intact and able to direct his/her own cares. The resident’s care plan directed staff to transfer the resident with a standing lift and the assistance of one staff. Manufacturer’s instruction for the standing lift indicated leg straps were to be used for resident safety with the standing lift.
Approximately two months prior to the fall, a physical therapist evaluated the resident, because the resident was refusing the use the abdominal harness of the standing lift due to difficulty breathing. The physical therapist educated the resident that all the buckles, abdominal and leg, were to be strapped when using the standing lift and the resident agreed. During the interviews, three staff members indicated the resident refused the leg straps and told staff s/he could stand better without using the leg straps. However, if staff members were firm and told the resident leg straps were required during the transfer, the resident would comply. The facility policy on the standing lift equipment indicated to keep the residents feet on the footplate and secure the shin straps around the resident’s leg and calf area.
The AP was interviewed. On the morning of the fall, the resident put on the call light to use the toilet. The AP entered the resident’s room and placed the resident on the standing lift. The resident refused the leg straps. The AP told the resident the leg straps needed to be applied for safety, but the resident still refused the leg straps. The AP requested assistance from a nurse.
After five minutes, the resident’s need to use the toilet was urgent and there was no response to the call for assistance. The AP transferred the resident to the toilet. After toileting, during the transfer from the standing lift to the wheelchair, the resident’s foot slipped off the platform. The resident slipped down in the lift approximately one foot off the floor and was lowered to the floor.
The resident had pain in his/her right hip and requested an X-ray revealed an incomplete fracture of the mid-right femur. The resident has hospitalized and had hip surgery, which was complicated by acute respiratory failure related to his/her chronic respiratory difficulties. The resident returned to the facility thirteen days later, but was readmitted to the hospital that same day for respiratory distress. The resident returned to the facility four days later on hospice care and died the next day.
The resident’s primary physician was interviewed and explained that the anesthesia from the surgery worsened the resident’s already chronic respiratory conditions.
The death certificate indicated the resident died eighteen days after the fall. The immediate cause of death was listed as complications related to immobility due to the right hip fracture from the fall.
If you have questions about falls from Mechanical Patient Liftor other types of elder abuse call Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.
Investigation of Financial Exploitation at Augustana HCC of Apple Valley
According to a report dated November 20, 2015, Augustana HCC of Apple Valley had an allegation that a resident was financially exploited when a staff, alleged perpetrator (AP) made multiple unauthorized charges to resident’s credit card.
Substantiated Exploitation by Staff at Augustana HCC of Apple Valley
Based on a preponderance of evidence financial exploitation occurred, when the alleged perpetrator (AP) took the resident’s credit card, used it to make purchases for his/her own personal use and without the resident’s permission or knowledge.
The resident was admitted to the facility for short term rehabilitation after hospitalization. Review of the resident’s record indicated that the resident was moderately impaired in her/her cognition but was able to make his/her daily decisions and needs known.
Document review and interviews revealed that a police officer reported to the facility staff that the resident had unauthorized charges that were made on her/his credit card while the resident at the facility. Through their investigation the police were able to determine that the unauthorized charges were made over a three day period between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. in Walmart, Cub Foods, and a Shell gas station, all stores located in the Apple Valley area. The video surveillance footage provided by Walmart store showed an individual wearing scrubs using the resident’s credit card to make purchases on one of three different occasions that the resident’s credit card was used in Walmart. The police showed the facility staff the video and facility staff positively identified the individual in the video as AP.
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about improper use of medical equipment, falls or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.