Third Degree Burns from Preventable Accident in Nursing Home
Third Degree Burns Nursing Home in Minneapolis. There was a story this week in the Star & Tribune titled: Minneapolis nursing home blamed in resident’s death. Redeemer Health and Rehab on Lake Street in Minneapolis was found to be negligent for allowing a resident with dementia to sustain third degree burns on his legs and feet from a radiator next to his bed. The resident apparently suffered second to third degree burns in nursing home and was taken to the emergency room.
For the entire story see: Minneapolis nursing home blamed in resident’s death.
This was an obviously avoidable form of negligent that would have been prevented with minimum care and supervision for the resident.
Nursing homes across Minnesota have an obligation to comply with minimum care standards established by state and federal regulations. Many times the explanation for burn injuries occurring to residents of Minnesota nursing homes, assisted living and other types of elder care facilities is related to a corporate organization which is focused on maximizing profits at the expense of safety. Many of the burn incidents resulting in serious injury or deaths could have been prevented with increased numbers of attentive and well qualified staff providing additional supervision.
Minnesota law requires that a nursing home must have on duty at all times a sufficient number of qualified nursing personnel, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nursing assistants to meet the needs of the residents at all nurses’ stations, on all floors, and in all buildings if more than one building is involved. This includes relief duty, weekends, and vacation replacements.
Minnesota Rule 4658.0015 states that a nursing home must operate and provide services in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and codes, and with accepted professional standards and principles that apply to professionals providing services in a nursing home.
Minnesota Rule 4658.0105 mandates that a nursing home must ensure that direct care staff are able to demonstrate competency in skills and techniques necessary to care for residents’ needs, as identified through the comprehensive resident assessments and described in the comprehensive plan of care, and are able to perform their assigned duties.
Nursing Homes Must Prevent Accidents Including Third Degree Burns
Federal regulation 42 CFR §483.25 (h) establishes a duty for the nursing home to that the resident receives adequate supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents, including third degree burns.
42 CFR §483.25 (h) Accidents. The facility must ensure that—
(1) The resident environment remains as free of accident hazards [including third degree burns] as is possible; and
(2) Each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.
Minnesota Statute 626.5572, Subd. 3. Accident. “Accident” means a sudden, unforeseen, and unexpected occurrence or event which:
(1) is not likely to occur and which could not have been prevented by exercise of due care; and
(2) if occurring while a vulnerable adult is receiving services from a facility, happens when the facility and the employee or person providing services in the facility are in compliance with the laws and rules relevant to the occurrence or event.
Despite the state and federal regulations designed to protect vulnerable adult, there are still an unacceptably high number of preventable burn incidents in nursing homes but the most common involve hot water in bathtubs or showers, or thermal burns due to the misuse of hot packs, or injuries due unsupervised smoking of resident.
This website is not intended to provide legal advice as each situation is different and specific factual information must be obtained before an attorney is able to assess the legal questions relevant to your situation.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from neglect or abuse in a including second or third degree burns or other care facility that serves the elderly in Minnesota please contact our firm for a free consultation and information regarding the obligations of the facility and your rights as a resident or concerned family member. To contact Attorney Kenneth L. LaBore, directly please send an email to KlaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com or call Ken at 612-743-9048.