A Sterling, Illinois nursing home was fined by the Illinois Department of Public Health after a resident died following a fall at the facility. The IDPH found that the nursing home failed to have an adequate fall prevention plan in place for the resident.
After being taken to the hospital after the fall, a CT scan showed a subdural hematoma. The resident died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Falls and fall prevention is a major focus of the nursing home industry. Indeed, falls are the reason that many families elect to place loved ones into a nursing home.
On admission, the resident’s risk of falling is one of the things that must be evaluated by the nursing home staff. Once the assessment is complete, there must be a fall prevention plan put into place which is appopriate for the resident. Moreover, the fall risk must be reassessed at regular intervals and upon a change in the resident’s condition. Here, IDPH faulted the nursing home for not having a proper fall prevention program in place for this resident and for not doing a proper re-assessment of her fall risk after other falls and the occurrence of syncopal (fainting) episodes.
The failure of a nursing home to properly assess a resident’s fall risk and to have in place and implement a proper fall prevention program can be the basis for a valid suit against a nursing home when the resident is injured as a result of a fall.