Posts Tagged ‘Wheelchair Injury’


Minnesota Nursing Home Neglect Fractures

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 29th January 2019 | Category: Fall Injuries, Hoyer Lift, Patient Lift, Wrongful Death | RSS Feed
Nursing Home Resident Fractures From Falls

Nursing Home Resident Fractures From Falls

Nursing Home Neglect Fractures

Injuries such as nursing home neglect fractures are one of the most common types of elder neglect.   Falls from patient lifts, wheelchairs, in the shower and bathroom or falling from bed are examples of preventable neglect in most cases.

Common types of fractures include head injuries and skull fractures, traumatic brain injury – subdural hematomas, broken arms, fractured hips, femurs and legs.

Information About Nursing Home Neglect Fractures

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, falls among nursing home residents occur frequently and repeatedly.  About 1,800 older adults living in nursing homes die each year from fall-related injuries and those who survive falls frequently sustain hip fractures and head injuries that result in permanent disability and reduced quality of life.

  • In 2003, 1.5 million people 65 and older lived in nursing homes.  If current rates continue, by 2030 this number will rise to about 3 million.
  • About 5% of adults 65 and older live in nursing homes, but nursing home residents account for about 20% of deaths from falls in this age group.
  • Each year, a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls. Many falls go unreported.
  • Between half and three-quarters of nursing home residents fall each year.  That’s twice the rate of falls for older adults living in the community.
  • Patients often fall more than once. The average is 2.6 falls per person per year.
  • About 35% of fall injuries occur among residents who cannot walk.

Common Cause of Nursing Home Neglect Fractures

The CDC, provides a list of common reasons and causes for the falls and fractures:

  •  Muscle weakness and walking or gait problems are the most common causes of falls among nursing home residents. These problems account for about 24% of the falls in nursing homes.
  • Environmental hazards in nursing homes cause 16% to 27% of falls among residents.
  • Such hazards include wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs.
  • Medications can increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries. Drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, are of particular concern. Fall risk is significantly elevated during the three days following any change in these types of medications.
  • Other causes of falls include difficulty in moving from one place to another (for example, from the bed to a chair), poor foot care, poorly fitting shoes, and improper or incorrect use of walking aids.

Nursing Home Neglect Fractures Attorney

If you have questions about nursing home abuse and neglect and fractures or other fall related injuries contact Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.  Mr. LaBore can be reached directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.

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Free Consultation on Issues of Elder Abuse and Neglect Serving all of Minnesota Toll Free 1-888-452-6589

Free Consultation on Issues of Elder Abuse and Neglect Serving all of Minnesota Toll Free 1-888-452-6589

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Assisted Living Falls

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 5th February 2017 | Category: Assisted Living Care Issues, Fall Injuries, Hoyer Lift, Patient Lift, Wrongful Death | RSS Feed
Residents Need Proper Assistance and Supervision to Avoid Assisted Living Falls

Residents Need Proper Assistance and Supervision to Avoid Assisted Living FallsAssisted Living Falls

Minnesota Assisted Living Falls

Injuries due to falls in nursing home and assisted living falls are common some due to obvious neglect other the cause is not as clear.   The underlying cause of many accidents is a delay in response from the time the resident needed some assistance and a response.   Or a failure to do toileting or wellness checks or some other necessary service as providing medications.

Information on Assisted Living Falls

Assisted living facilities are defined by statute and are in summary apartments for seniors where additional minimum services are available for purchase by contract.  Each resident has a different contract based on their individual needs.

According to Minnesota Statute 144G.03, Subd. 2, assisted living shall be provided or made available only to individuals residing in a registered housing with services establishment. Except as expressly stated in this chapter, a person or entity offering assisted living may define the available services and may offer assisted living to all or some of the residents of a housing with services establishment. The services that comprise assisted living may be provided or made available directly by a housing with services establishment or by persons or entities with which the housing with services establishment has made arrangements.

(b) A person or entity entitled to use the phrase “assisted living,” according to section 144G.02, subdivision 1, shall do so only with respect to a housing with services establishment, or a service, service package, or program available within a housing with services establishment that, at a minimum:

(1) provides or makes available health-related services under a home care license. At a minimum, health-related services must include:

(i) assistance with self-administration of medication, medication management, or medication administration as defined in section 144A.43; and

(ii) assistance with at least three of the following seven activities of daily living: bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, transferring, continence care, and toileting.

All health-related services shall be provided in a manner that complies with applicable home care licensure requirements in chapter 144A and sections 148.171 to 148.285;

(2) provides necessary assessments of the physical and cognitive needs of assisted living clients by a registered nurse, as required by applicable home care licensure requirements in chapter 144A and sections 148.171 to 148.285;

(3) has and maintains a system for delegation of health care activities to unlicensed personnel by a registered nurse, including supervision and evaluation of the delegated activities as required by applicable home care licensure requirements in chapter 144A and sections 148.171 to 148.285;

(4) provides staff access to an on-call registered nurse 24 hours per day, seven days per week;

(5) has and maintains a system to check on each assisted living client at least daily;

(6) provides a means for assisted living clients to request assistance for health and safety needs 24 hours per day, seven days per week, from the establishment or a person or entity with which the establishment has made arrangements;

(7) has a person or persons available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, who is responsible for responding to the requests of assisted living clients for assistance with health or safety needs, who shall be:

(i) awake;

(ii) located in the same building, in an attached building, or on a contiguous campus with the housing with services establishment in order to respond within a reasonable amount of time;

(iii) capable of communicating with assisted living clients;

(iv) capable of recognizing the need for assistance;

(v) capable of providing either the assistance required or summoning the appropriate assistance; and

(vi) capable of following directions;

(8) offers to provide or make available at least the following supportive services to assisted living clients:

(i) two meals per day;

(ii) weekly housekeeping;

(iii) weekly laundry service;

(iv) upon the request of the client, reasonable assistance with arranging for transportation to medical and social services appointments, and the name of or other identifying information about the person or persons responsible for providing this assistance;

(v) upon the request of the client, reasonable assistance with accessing community resources and social services available in the community, and the name of or other identifying information about the person or persons responsible for providing this assistance; and

(vi) periodic opportunities for socialization; and

(9) makes available to all prospective and current assisted living clients information consistent with the uniform format and the required components adopted by the commissioner under section 144G.06. This information must be made available beginning no later than six months after the commissioner makes the uniform format and required components available to providers according to section 144G.06.

See the State of Minnesota Assisted Living Guide

Types of Assisted Living Falls

There are many types of falls which occur in assisted living facilities including, falls in the bathroom due to loss of balance or slipping on wet surfaces such as in the shower, falls during transfers from wheelchairs or from patient lifts, falls  from bed, when using a walker or cane and others.  The injuries related to these often preventable falls include head injuries, subdural hematomas, fractured hips, pelvis, and femurs to name of few.  The injuries can be very serious and the combination of the injuries and the disabilities which result can lead to untimely death.

Assisted Living Falls Reporting

The facility is mandated to report serious falls to the Minnesota Commissioner of Health under Minnesota Statute 144.7065, Subd 5.(7) patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a facility.

In addition to the reporting requirements for the facility you should also report any falls with injury to the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Health Facility Complaint, OHFC.  See the attached for more information about reporting elder abuse and neglect.

Assisted Living Falls Neglect Attorney

If you have questions about fall injuries in a assisted living facility or other elder provider or nursing home or other elder abuse and neglect issues contact Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.  Mr. LaBore can be reached directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.

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Minnesota Assisted Living Falls Lawyer

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 31st January 2017 | Category: Assisted Living Care Issues, Fall Injuries, Hoyer Lift, Patient Lift, Wrongful Death | RSS Feed
Assisted Living Falls Lawyer and Fracture Injuries

Assisted Living Falls Lawyer and Fracture Injuries

Minnesota Assisted Living Falls Lawyer

There are many types of fall injuries I have seen as a nursing home and assisted living falls lawyer.  Falls can happen when the resident is not given care they need with transfer and toileting or when they are dropped or fall from patient lifts, fall in their wheelchairs, or in the bathroom. Many of these falls would be preventable with proper assessment of the resident’s needs and risks and then adequate care and supervision to prevent accidents.

Falls in assisted living and other elder care situations can lead to fractures such as femur, pelvis and hip, head injuries with complications, such as subdural hematomas, and other injuries some leading to death.

Information About Assisted Living Falls

According to Minnesota Statute 144.7065, Subdivision 1., reports of adverse health care events are required.  Each facility shall report to the commissioner the occurrence of any of the adverse health care events described in subdivisions 2 to 7 as soon as is reasonably and practically possible, but no later than 15 working days after discovery of the event. The report shall be filed in a format specified by the commissioner and shall identify the facility but shall not include any identifying information for any of the health care professionals, facility employees, or patients involved. The commissioner may consult with experts and organizations familiar with patient safety when developing the format for reporting and in further defining events in order to be consistent with industry standards.

Subd. 5. Care management events.  Events reportable under this subdivision are:

(7) patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a facility;

Assisted Living Falls Lawyer

If you need information about assisted living falls or other forms of elder abuse and neglect or other call Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation with no fee unless a verdict or settlement offer by the wrongdoer.  Call Mr. LaBore directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.

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Falls From Bed in Nursing Homes

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 30th January 2017 | Category: Bed Rail Strangulation and Asphyxiation, Fall Injuries, Hoyer Lift, Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, Patient Lift, Wrongful Death | RSS Feed
Nursing Home Injuries Falls From Bed

Nursing Home Injuries Falls From Bed

Falls From Bed

There are many injuries which happen in areas you would think you are safe such as in bed. It is not uncommon for vulnerable adults such as nursing home residents to have falls from bed from rolling out of bed, or losing their balance exiting or entering bed. Serious injuries can occur from falling from the bed and hitting the bed, floor or nightstand or other obstacle near the bed such as a table or oxygen tank. Residents can suffer femur and hip fractures, and other life threatening injuries such as head injuries with hematomas.  Many accident also happen when residents are transferred from wheelchairs to bed or from mechanical patient lifts to and from beds and lose balance or fall from the lift.

Approximately 1.8 million emergency room visits and over 400 thousand hospital admission occur to those over the age of 65 resulted from falling out of bed according to the Center for Disease Control.

Falls From Bed Can Be Prevented

Pursuant to 42 CFR 483.25, quality of care is a fundamental principle that applies to all treatment and care provided to facility residents. Based on the comprehensive assessment of a resident, the facility must ensure that residents receive treatment and care in accordance with professional standards of practice, the comprehensive person-centered care plan, and the resident’s choices, including but not limited to the following:

(d) Accidents.  The facility must ensure that—

(1) The resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible; and

(2) Each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.

(n) Bed rails.  The facility must attempt to use appropriate alternatives prior to installing a side or bed rail. If a bed or side rail is used, the facility must ensure correct installation, use, and maintenance of bed rails, including but not limited to the following elements.

(1) Assess the resident for risk of entrapment from bed rails prior to installation.

(2) Review the risks and benefits of bed rails with the resident or resident representative and obtain informed consent prior to installation.

(3) Ensure that the bed’s dimensions are appropriate for the resident’s size and weight.

(4) Follow the manufacturers’ recommendations and specifications for installing and maintaining bed rails.

Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 144.7056, Subdivision 1., each facility shall report to the commissioner the occurrence of any of the adverse health care events described in subdivisions 2 to 7 as soon as is reasonably and practically possible, but no later than 15 working days after discovery of the event. The report shall be filed in a format specified by the commissioner and shall identify the facility but shall not include any identifying information for any of the health care professionals, facility employees, or patients involved. The commissioner may consult with experts and organizations familiar with patient safety when developing the format for reporting and in further defining events in order to be consistent with industry standards.

Minnesota Statute 144,7065, Subd. 5., mandates reporting under care management events. Events reportable under this subdivision (7) patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a facility

Attorney For Falls From Bed

I you have questions about nursing home abuse and neglect and fractures or other fall related injuries contact Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.  Mr. LaBore can be reached directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.

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Minnesota Nursing Home Neglect Falls

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 29th January 2017 | Category: Fall Injuries, Hoyer Lift, Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, Patient Lift, Wrongful Death | RSS Feed
Minnesota Nursing Home Neglect Falls Fracrtured Femur, Pelvis and Head Injuries

Minnesota Nursing Home Neglect Falls Fracrtured Femur, Pelvis and Head Injuries

Nursing Home Neglect Falls

There many ways in which preventable falls occur in nursing homes, there are falls that happen when a resident is not given the assistance they need in walking or transfers and end up losing strength and balance and then fall.  Loss of balance also leads to falls in the bathroom and when dressing.  There are also falls when residents are not placed in a wheelchair or chair properly, or the wrong size chair and they slide out and injure themselves.  Many falls happen when a resident is dropped from a Hoyer type patient lift or slips out of a improperly attached sling.  Falls in nursing homes lead to many types of serious injury including fractured hips, pelvic and femur fractures, and head injuries many with subdural hematomas.

Preventing Nursing Home Neglect Falls

According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, there are causes for fall in nursing homes:

  • Muscle weakness and walking or gait problems are the most common causes of falls among nursing home residents. These problems account for about 24% of the falls in nursing homes.
  • Environmental hazards in nursing homes cause 16% to 27% of falls among residents.
  • Such hazards include wet floors, poor lighting, incorrect bed height, and improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs.
  • Medications can increase the risk of falls and fall-related injuries. Drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, are of particular concern. Fall risk is significantly elevated during the three days following any change in these types of medications.
  • Other causes of falls include difficulty in moving from one place to another (for example, from the bed to a chair), poor foot care, poorly fitting shoes, and improper or incorrect use of walking aids.

According to the CDC, each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor.  Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.

Falls Are Serious and Costly:

  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
  • Each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
  • Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.
  • Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures.
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
    Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion annually.  Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total.

Mandated Reporting of Nursing Home Neglect Falls

According to Minnesota law requiring mandated reporting for health care providers nursing homes must report to the state pursuant to Minnesota Statute 144.7065, Subd 5.(7) patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a facility.

Nursing Home Neglect Falls Attorney

If you have questions about nursing home abuse and neglect and fractures or other fall related injuries contact Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.  Mr. LaBore can be reached directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.

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Fractures from Falls in Minnesota Elder Care Facilities

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 29th January 2017 | Category: Fall Injuries, Hoyer Lift, Inadequate Staffing/Training, Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, Patient Lift, Wrongful Death | RSS Feed

Head Injury, Arm Fracture, Hip Fracture, Femur Fracture, Subdural Hematoma, Hip Fractures from Falls

Head Injury, Arm Fracture, Hip Fracture, Femur Fracture, Subdural Hematoma, Hip Fractures from Falls

Fractures From Falls in Nursing Homes

Many of the fractures from falls in nursing homes and other care settings are preventable had the resident received proper supervision or had their been adequate numbers of well trained staff to perform tasks such as transfers from wheelchairs and chairs, toileting, and assessment related to falls from the bed.   Fractures can be very serious and due to complications can often lead to permanent injuries and disabilities or death.

Fractures From Falls From Patient Lift

Fractures From Falls From Patient Lift

Fractures From Falls From Hoyer Type Mechanical Patient Lift

One of the higher risk situations for residents of nursing homes or other elder care facilities is patient transfer from bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to bed or toilet and other transfers.   The use of a mechanical patient lift can assist with these transfer when done safely but can lead to serious injuries when not performed correctly.  Many times accident are due to the lifts not being used or set up as directed by the manufacturer.   Another reason is the failure to use the right size or proper type of sling for the patient lift.   Many falls occur when the sling is not attached to the lift clips per directions.

Nursing Home and Elder Injuries and Fractures as a Result of Wheelchairs

Nursing Home and Elder Injuries and Fractures as a Result of Wheelchairs

Fractures From Falls From Wheelchairs and Chairs

Injuries from wheelchair and even reclining chairs are common in senior care environments.  The injuries usually occur due to a wheelchair tips over on ramps or curbs, falls down stairs, allows the resident to slip out of the chair, the resident’s feet are allowed to drag causing leg and feet injuries and others.  Residents must receive the supervision and care necessary to avoid injuries including wheelchair falls and injuries.

Nursing Home Injuries Due to Falls in Bathrooms

Nursing Home Injuries Due to Falls in Bathrooms

Fractures From Falls In Bathroom

The bathroom is an area where many types of injuries occur.  Fall injuries related to a loss of balance when setting down or getting up from the toilet.  Injuries from lifts on the toilet or in the shower.  Injuries from slipping in the shower or entering bath or shower.   Injuries also occur when dressing and undressing for baths and showering.  Most injuries in the bathroom are preventable if the resident receives the patient assistance and supervision necessary to provide for their toileting and hygiene needs.

Nursing Home Falls from Bed Can Lead to Serious InjuryFractures and Death

Nursing Home Falls from Bed Can Lead to Serious Injury Fractures and Death

Fractures From Falls From Bed

Although it may seem like someone is safe in their bed, vulnerable nursing home residents suffer serious fractures, head injuries and others when they fall from their bed onto the floor or hit their head or body on items near the bed such as oxygen tanks and night stands.  Many of the injuries as result of falling from bed are preventable, however, nursing homes often refuse or negligently fail to provide bed rails, lower the bed height, provide safety mats or other safety interventions to protect residents at risk of falls.

Fractures From Falls are Often Medical Malpractice Cases

If you suffer an fractures from falls when a resident in a nursing home, assisted living, memory care, hospital or other medical or senior care environment the provide may be responsible in part or whole for a lack of supervision or improper use of medical equipment and other reasons.  You need expert medical opinions in Minnesota to bring a lawsuit for medical malpractice and for many issues related to wrongful death claims.

If you have questions about nursing home abuse and neglect and fractures or other fall related injuries contact Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.  Mr. LaBore can be reached directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.

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Wrongful Death From Falls in Minnesota Nursing Homes

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 29th January 2017 | Category: Bed Rail Strangulation and Asphyxiation, Fall Injuries, Grab Bars, Patient Lift, Wrongful Death | RSS Feed
Minnesota Nursing Home Elder Abuse Wrongful Death Falls Fracture and Head Injuries

Minnesota Nursing Home Elder Abuse Wrongful Death Falls Fracture and Head Injuries

Wrongful Death From Falls Due to Elder Neglect

There are many types of elder neglect that can lead to injuries and wrongful death falls being the leading one.   There are many situations when a resident of a nursing home, assisted living or other elder care facility is at risk of falls.   There advanced age or diminished physical or mental capacity or need for rehabilitation helps create situations where falls may be more likely such as falls from patient lifts, wheelchairs, due to medications or existing injury or disability.

Information About Wrongful Death From Falls

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, about 1,800 people living in nursing homes die each year from falls. About 10% to 20% of nursing home falls cause serious injuries; 2% to 6% cause fractures. Falls result in disability, functional decline and reduced quality of life. Fear of falling can cause further loss of function, depression, feelings of helplessness, and social isolation.

Wrongful Death From Falls Rates CDC

Wrongful Death From Falls Rates CDC

One of the more serious types of fall injuries are head and neck injuries.  Often residents are very frail and fall from lifts, chairs, or even the height of a bed can cause serious skull and head injuries.  The swelling on the brain usually from a subdural hematoma often needs surgery such as a craniotomy to relieve the pressure and swelling.  Serious falls can lead to permanent traumatic brain injury, TBI or death.

Another cause of death is related to a series of conditions related to fall injuries, such as pelvic and hip fractures.   The medication, lack of mobility, stress on the system, respiratory distress and pain all lead up to a cardiac arrest.

Wrongful Death From Falls Are Preventable Accidents

According to federal law residents in nursing homes need to be assessed for risks and measures taken to protect the vulnerable adults from foreseeable accidents and related injuries such as falls, medication errors, abuse, and others.  One of the more common ways residents suffer life threatening injuries is due to being dropped or falls from Hoyer type patient lifts used for transfers from bed to wheelchair and other mobility uses.  Falls from wheelchairs when not in transfer are also risks due to residents slipping from chairs when not secured, tipping of the chair, curbs, ramps and stairs.

The CDC, offer the following tips on prevention of falls in nursing homes:

  •  Assessing patients after a fall to identify and address risk factors and treat the underlying medical conditions.
  • Educating staff about fall risk factors and prevention strategies.
  • Reviewing prescribed medicines to assess their potential risks and benefits and to minimize use.
  • Making changes in the nursing home environment to make it easier for residents to move around safely. Such changes include putting in grab bars, adding raised toilet seats, lowering bed heights, and installing handrails in the hallways.
  • Providing patients with hip pads that may prevent a hip fracture if a fall occurs.
  • Exercise programs can improve balance, strength, walking ability, and physical functioning among nursing home residents. However, such programs do not appear to reduce falls.
  • Vitamin D supplementation has been shown in a number of studies to reduce falls in nursing home residents. However, vitamin D as a fall intervention remains controversial.
  • Teaching residents who are not cognitively impaired behavioral strategies to avoid potentially hazardous situations is a promising approach.

Wrongful Death From Falls Attorney

If you have a loved one who died from abuse and neglect leading to wrongful death contact Kenneth LaBore to get accountability.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.  Mr. LaBore can be reached directly for a free consultation at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.

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Wheelchair Injury

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 28th January 2017 | Category: Fall Injuries, Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect | RSS Feed
Falls from Wheelchair Injury

Falls from Wheelchair Injury

Nursing Home Wheelchair Injury

One of the more common ways nursing home and other elder care facility residents suffer serious injuries and death is from wheelchair fall injury incidents.  There are many ways that that injuries can occur including from wheelchairs tipping over, resident’s falling from the chair, injury to feet from dropping.

According to phc-online.com, many activities require the wheelchair user to reach, bend and transfer in and out of the wheelchair. These movements will cause a change to normal balance, center-of-gravity, and weight distribution of the wheelchair. To determine and establish your particular safety limits, practice bending, reaching and transferring activities in several combinations in the presence of another individual BEFORE attempting active use of the wheelchair.

Proper positioning is essential for your safety. When reaching, leaning, bending sideways or forward, it is important to use the casters as a tool to maintain stability and balance.

According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, webpage on selecting wheelchairs, there are many things to consider when selecting a wheelchair, from how to get the best fit to how it will suit your home. Learn from community members on how to select and maintain your wheelchair.

Information About Wheelchair Injury

According to the National Institute of Health, in 2003, more than 100,000 wheelchair related injuries were treated in emergency departments in the US, double the number reported in 1991. Tips and falls accounted for 65–80% of injuries across all age groups of wheelchair users. The majority of children’s injuries occurred at locations outside of homes and institutions/hospitals in environments with stairs, ramps, and curbs (57.3%). In contrast, injuries among adult users were more likely to occur in homes, hospitals, and institutions (45–90%).

For more information see: Falls from Wheelchairs

Minnesota Wheelchair Injury Lawyer

If you have concerns about medication errors, 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.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer by wrongdoer.

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Falls From Wheelchairs

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 28th January 2017 | Category: Fall Injuries, Hoyer Lift, Patient Lift | RSS Feed
Nursing Home Falls from Wheelchairs

Nursing Home Falls from Wheelchairs

Nursing Home Resident Falls From Wheelchairs

Falls in nursing homes and other elder care facilities happen in many ways, including falls from patient lifts and falls from wheelchairs, falls out of bed and falls in the bathroom.

According to federal regulations, nursing homes need to assess residents and ensure that reasonable measures were taken to avoid accidents including falls.

Reasons for Falls From Wheelchairs

Due to the medical condition and the medications taken by residents it is not uncommon for vulnerable persons to be unable to sit up safely in their chair, or wheelchair.  They may tip from side to side or fall forward and hit their head.  Or they may slip down and out of the wheelchair and injure their pelvis, hip or femur in the leg, ankle or foot.

Open Stairwell Falls from Wheelchairs

Open Stairwell Falls from Wheelchairs

Falls From Wheelchairs Down Stairways

It is not uncommon for residents with cognitive issues or under the effect of medication and perhaps in a new environment get confused to the extent that they take their wheelchair into situations which are dangerous including falls down curbs, or stairways causing serious injuries and fractures.

Falls From Wheelchairs From Ramp

Falls From Wheelchairs From Ramp

Falls From Wheelchairs From Ramps

Another time persons in wheelchairs are at high risk for injury is when they are on a ramp of any sort usually to enter or exist a building or to alight a vehicle.  There are many things than can go wrong.  If it is an electric wheelchair it can move a drive off the ramp causing the resident to fall with the chair on top.   If the wheelchair not powered the person pushing the wheelchair on the ramp may lose their footing or balance or may not have enough strength to control the chair with the person in the chair leading to falls and many times fractures.

Falls from Wheelchairs are Risk During Patient Lift Transfers

Falls from Wheelchairs are Risk During Patient Lift Transfers

Falls From Wheelchairs During Transfers

One of the most common way a person falls from their wheelchair or into the chair is during transfers from patient lifts such as hoyer lifts used to lift the resident.   There are several ways the person can fall including slipping out of the sling on the patient lift, a lift that tips or is not set up properly, or a wheelchair that moves from under a resident due to wheels that are not safely locked.

Information About Falls from Wheelchairs

Falls from wheelchairs are so common that there is actually an ICD-9 billing code for that type of injury.  Accidental fall from wheelchair:

Short description: Fall from wheelchair.

ICD-9-CM E884.3 is a billable medical code that can be used to indicate a diagnosis on a reimbursement claim, however, E884.3 should only be used for claims with a date of service on or before September 30, 2015. For claims with a date of service on or after October 1, 2015, use an equivalent ICD-10-CM code (or codes).

According to a study wheelchair rider injury, performed by the Veterans Administration, VA, the categories group incidents of falls from wheelchairs according to apparent precipitating causes rather than outcomes.

Tips and Falls covers most of the incidents that include a tip or fall; incidents originate from exceeding the limits of a) the wheelchair’s stability on the ground, and/or b) the rider’s sitting stability in the wheelchair.

Component Failures includes incidents in which component failure was reported as a cause, including incidents that result in a tip or fall, and excluding incidents in vehicles or on lifts.

Other Incidents includes five types of incidents that were studied, but did not yield statistically significant results that help to guide wheelchair design and selection. These are:

  • Hit By a Car while riding in a wheelchair,
  • Transportation/Tie-Down incidents occurring while traveling in a vehicle,
  • Van or Bus Lift incidents,
  • Collision with an Immovable Object while riding in a wheelchair, and
  • Injurious Contact with the Wheelchair itself.
Get Accountability for Falls from Wheelchairs

For injuries related to falls from wheelchairs or other fractures or fall injuries contact Elder Abuse and Neglect Lawyer 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.  There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer.

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Patient Lift Injuries

Written By: Kenneth LaBore | Published On: 28th January 2017 | Category: Fall Injuries, Hoyer Lift, Patient Lift, Wrongful Death | RSS Feed
Transfer from Wheelchair Using Mechanical Lift is Common Source of Patient Lift Injuries

Transfer from Wheelchair Using Mechanical Lift is Common Source of Patient Lift Injuries

Nursing Home Resident and Patient Lift Injuries

There are numerous negligent procedures which commonly lead to patient lift injuries.  Patient lifts are what are also know as Hoyer Lifts, mechanical lifts, then there are other types designed to assist with standing and other specialized purposes such as toileting.

According to the FDA, patient lifts are designed to lift and transfer patients from one place to another (e.g., from bed to bath, chair to stretcher). These should not be confused with stairway chair lifts or elevators. Patient lifts may be operated using a power source or manually. The powered models generally require the use of a rechargeable battery and the manual models are operated using hydraulics. While the design of patient lifts will vary based on the manufacturer, basic components may include a mast (the vertical bar that fits into the base), a boom (a bar that extends over the patient), a spreader bar (which hangs from the boom), a sling (attached to the spreader bar, designed to hold the patient), and a number of clips or latches (which secure the sling).

Many injuries happen when there is not sufficient staffing or old or improper equipment resulting in the fatigue of the workers operating patient lifts.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, rates of musculoskeletal injuries from overexertion in healthcare occupations are among the highest of all U.S. industries. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that in 2014, the rate of overexertion injuries averaged across all industries was 33 per 10,000 full time workers. By comparison, the overexertion injury rate for hospital workers was twice the average (68 per 10,000), the rate for nursing home workers was over three times the average (107 per 10,000), and the rate for ambulance workers was over five times the average (174 per 10,000).1  The single greatest risk factor for overexertion injuries in healthcare workers is the manual lifting, moving and repositioning of patients, residents or clients, i.e., manual patient handling.

Common Patient Lift Injuries

There are many types of injurie which occur as a result of patient lift errors and mistakes.  Since the resident is often elevated in the lift the injuries tend to be very serious including head injuries, with subdural hematomas, broken bones including broken arms, pelvis, hip, femur and others.  Many times the nature of the injuries as so severe that the resident dies as a result of preventable falls.

Falls from lifts can also cause traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries or damage to the nervous system.  According to the Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injuries result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself.  A traumatic spinal cord injury may stem from a sudden, traumatic blow to your spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses one or more of your vertebrae.

Information About Prevention of Patient Lift Injuries

The FDA goes on to state the following best practices to help reduce risk of patient lift injuries:

  •  Receive training and understand how to operate the lift.
  • Match the sling to the specific lift and the weight of the patient.
  • A sling must be approved for use by the patient lift manufacturer. No sling is suitable for use with all patient lifts.
  • Inspect the sling fabric and straps to make sure they are not frayed or stressed at the seams or otherwise damaged. If there are signs of wear, do not use it.
  • Keep all clips, latches, and hanger bars securely fastened during operation.
  • Keep the base (legs) of the patient lift in the maximum open position and situate the lift to provide stability.
  • Position the patient’s arms inside the sling straps.
  • Make sure that the patient is not restless or agitated.
  • Lock the wheels on any device that will receive the patient such as a wheelchair, stretcher, bed, or chair.
  • Make sure that the weight limitations for the lift and sling are not exceeded.
  • Follow the instructions for washing and maintaining the sling.
  • Create and follow a maintenance safety inspection checklist to detect worn or damaged parts that need immediate replacement.

The FDA has a Patient Lifts Safety Guide with illustrations and tips for discussion on ways to reduce patient lift injuries.

Safe Patient Handling Tips, Assessment of Hazards, from the Minnesota Department of Labor, DOLI:

  • „Staffing per patient „peak workload periods „scheduling practices „…etc. (staff input) „
  • What conditions or situations put you at risk? „
  • Which lifts/transfers are the most difficult? „
  • What factors make a lift high-risk? „
  • What patient conditions contribute to the risk?
  • „What can be done to reduce the risk?

Patient Lift Injuries Lawyer

If you are concerned about injuries suffered from a fall from a patient lift or due to some other type of neglect or abuse contact 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.

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