Dropped Residents in Knoxville Nursing Homes
Placing a loved one in a Knoxville nursing home can be a difficult time for many families. Sometimes, though, an elderly relative may need advanced medical care or around-the-clock assistance, which many families simply can’t provide in the home. Nursing homes are long-term residential care homes, with 24-7 medical and nursing care, plus staff to help residents with personal care and mobility. Many Knox County nursing home residents may not be able to get around by themselves or may have difficulty going from seated to standing positions or getting into and out of bed. Nursing home workers are trained to help with lifts and mobility safely.
However, falls or dropped residents in nursing homes happen because of negligent or improperly trained staff. This can include workers who aren’t trained to do proper lifts, and thus the patient falls. Or, the nursing home has negligent staff that doesn’t provide adequate supervision for residents, which means that frail seniors may try to get up or walk unassisted, even when they physically aren't capable of doing so.
If your loved one has been dropped in a Knox County nursing home and was injured, you may have a case against the nursing home facility. An experienced nursing home lawyer like James Higgins can tell you for sure.What Causes Nursing Home Falls?
Many nursing home patients cannot walk unassisted and may require a gait belt or Hoyer lift to move from sitting to standing. If nursing home staff aren’t trained on how to use specialized equipment or properly support another person, falls can easily happen.How Are Patients Dropped at Nursing Homes?
Lack of supervision or insufficient staffing are the leading causes of residents dropping to the floor. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notes that the most common causes of nursing home falls are:
- Transfers from a wheelchair to a bed or chair
- Moving the resident from a wheelchair to the shower, bath, or toilet
- Broken or defective Hoyer lifts
- Improper use of transfer equipment or Hoyer lifts
- Moving residents in and out of wheelchair transfer vans
Residents require different types of mobility assistance over the course of the day, going from the bed to a wheelchair or being escorted to meals or group activities. From the moment they awake, residents are helped by nursing home staff to get from point to point, including physical or occupational therapy sessions. Some frequent incidents when patients are dropped are:
- Moving from their wheelchair to the bed and vice versa
- Getting into or out of the shower or bath
- Moving from a wheelchair to a regular chair or couch
- Incorrect use of a gait belt or Hoyer lift
Nursing home facilities must follow specific care standards to minimize hazards for residents and reduce negligence. Despite these requirements, Knoxville nursing home residents are dropped all too often. Some ways that medical negligence in nursing homes happens are:
- Assisted living staff may not have the training to move residents
- Residents are moved by one individual, instead of two
- The transfer equipment may be poorly maintained and therefore unable to support the resident
- Underlying health conditions may make moving the patient difficult
When negligent nursing home staff drop a patient, it can result in severe injuries such as a subdural hematoma (large bruise or blood clot), fractures, or even death. After a fall, the victim may require hospitalization or additional medical care. Treatment of a nursing home fall can be extensive and costly.
Beyond the physical injury to the individual, there may be psychological damage, as well. Nursing home residents place a lot of trust in their caregivers since they largely depend on them for support. Being dropped, or trying to get around unassisted and falling, can be scary and upsetting for people recovering from illness or in pain.Call the Law Offices of James Higgins Today
The Higgins Firm handles more nursing home abuse and neglect cases than any other Knoxville area law firm. Our team is experienced in determining the causes of your loved one's accident and ensuring that they’re protected. If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home drop or fall, or if you suspect that the fall led to wrongful death, you may have a case for the court. James Higgins has a deep knowledge of the statutes surrounding nursing homecare in Knox County and can help your family get the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a FREE consultation!