Facial Fractures Lead to Resident Death at Cornerstone Villa
In a report from the Minnesota Department of Health, dated December 21, 2016, concerning Cornerstone Villa in Buhl Minnesota it was alleged that a resident was neglected when facility staff failed to follow the resident’s care plan, and s/he had a fall resulting in facial fractures. The resident passed away two days later.
Cornerstone Villa Cited with Substantiated Neglect After Resident Death
Based on a preponderance of the evidence, neglect occurred when the facility failed to provide assistance with ambulation when the resident’s assessment and care plan indicated the resident required assistance when ambulating and the resident fell and sustained facial fractures.
The resident’s diagnoses included Alzheimer’s, sensory difficulty, and generalized weakness. The resident and determined the resident was weak and was not safe to ambulate independently. The care plan indicated ambulation only with assistance from staff. The physical therapist evaluated the resident the next day and determined the resident was unsteady when ambulating and needed contact guard assist which means a staff person must have a hand on resident at all times to prevent falls. The care plan indicated the need to assist the resident when transferring and ambulating. Later that evening, five staff observed the resident ambulating independently with the walker on his/her unit and another adjoining unit, but staff did not intervene. Staff heard the after hours front door alarm, went to the door, and found the resident outside lying on the cement in the doorway. Staff who found the resident called for a nurse. The nurse provided the resident with medical care to control the bleeding and another nurse called for an ambulance.
The resident’s condition was so severe that a local hospital had to transfer the resident to a trauma center. The resident had sustained multiple facial fractures, requiring intubation to maintain a patent airway. After evaluation and considering the extent of the resident’s facial fractures, conservative care was chosen for the resident and the resident died at the hospital two days later.
The resident’s death certificate indicated the cause of death was complications from facial fractures after a fall.
Cornerstone Villa Buhl – Report Suspected Abuse and Neglect
As an attorney who has seen hundreds of elder abuse and neglect cases many of which were falls, this case is very sad as it was so preventable had the staff been paying attention. It was clear that the resident had Alzheimer’s and sensory difficulty, and was at great risk for falling, the staff had a chance to intervene and redirect the resident to a safe area but they failed to act to protect the vulnerable adult under their care.
For more information about how to get accountability for preventable fall injuries or elder abuse and neglect related injuries call Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation at his direct number at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com. There is no fee unless a there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.