Nursing Home Resident Transfers and Injuries as Explained by the Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers at the Noll Law Office
As the population of Illinois ages, the demand for nursing home care continues to rise. While many nursing homes provide excellent care, unfortunately, some residents suffer from transfer injuries. Transfer injuries are injuries that occur during the process of moving a resident from one place to another. This can include moving a resident from a bed to a chair, from a wheelchair to a toilet, or even moving a resident outside for fresh air.
The Noll Law Office is committed to protecting the rights of nursing home residents. Transfer injuries can have serious consequences, including pain, discomfort, and even death. If a transfer injury occurs due to neglect or abuse in a nursing home, the resident or their family may have the right to seek legal action.
If someone you know has experienced a transfer injury, the Noll Law Office is ready to assist. Their experienced attorneys possess a comprehensive knowledge of the laws and regulations that regulate nursing homes and are committed to protecting the rights of residents. They are local, experienced lawyers who represent families with compassion and dignity. Contact them today to arrange a free consultation and learn more about the legal options available at (217) 414-8889.
What is a Transfer Injury?
A transfer injury is an injury that occurs when a nursing home resident falls during the process of moving a resident from one place to another. This can include moving a resident from a bed to a chair, from a wheelchair to a toilet, or even moving a resident outside for fresh air. Transfer injuries can happen for many different reasons, such as using the wrong lifting techniques, using equipment that needs to be properly maintained, or needing more people on hand.
Transfer injuries can have serious consequences for residents. In addition to pain, broken bones, or losing mobility, transfer injuries can lead to emotional distress, including fear, anxiety, and depression. Residents may also experience a decline in their overall health and well-being, making it difficult to enjoy the activities they once loved.
What are Common Injuries Associated with Transfers?
Some of the most common forms of transfer injuries include:
Brain Bleeds: A traumatic head injury during a transfer can result in a subdural hematoma, a life-threatening type of brain bleed.
Broken Hips: A common transfer injury that can be extremely painful and impact a resident’s mobility and independence.
Pelvic Fracture: A fall during a transfer can result in a debilitating fracture of the pelvis. This is a common fall injury among nursing home residents.
Extremity Fractures: Transfer injuries can also result in painful arm and leg fractures.
Sprains, Cuts, and Bruises: While these injuries can appear less serious than other transfer injuries, sprains, cuts, and bruises can still cause significant pain and discomfort for residents.
Identifying Transfer Injuries
Identifying transfer injuries can be difficult, especially if the resident cannot communicate their pain or discomfort. Red flags to look out for include sudden changes in behavior, mobility, and physical signs of injury. Common areas where transfer injuries occur include the bathroom, bed, and wheelchair. Reporting any suspected transfer injuries or abuse to the appropriate authorities is important.
Why Do Transfer Injuries Occur in Nursing Homes?
Many factors can contribute to transfer injuries in nursing homes, including:
- Lack of a comprehensive care plan: A comprehensive care plan outlines each resident’s specific needs and requirements, including how they should be transferred and what equipment should be used. Without a comprehensive care plan, residents are at a higher risk for transfer injuries.
- Environmental hazards: Environmental hazards, such as wet floors, cluttered areas, and poorly maintained equipment, can increase the risk of transfer injuries.
- Staffing levels: Adequate staffing levels are essential for preventing transfer injuries. Suppose there needs to be more staff members available to assist residents with transfers. In that case, injuries are more likely to occur, especially for residents or patients who require the assistance of two people.
Nursing home administrators are responsible for ensuring that residents are safe and protected from harm. They must prevent transfer injuries by providing adequate staffing levels, training staff on proper transfer techniques, and maintaining a safe environment.
What is Two-Person Assist and When is it Required?
A two-person assist is used to move a resident from one place to another safely. The technique involves two qualified assistants working together to support the resident’s weight and ensure their safety during the transfer. There are specific guidelines for when a two-person assist is required, including:
- If the resident is unable to assist with the transfer
- If the resident is at risk of falling
- If the resident is at risk of injury
- Displays mild to moderate standing balance deficits.
- If the resident weighs more than 250 lbs.
- The resident can assist with weight bearing but may need to be more consistent.
- The resident is cooperative and predictable.
Examples of Two-Person Assists in Action
To better understand two-person assists, let’s look at an example. Imagine that a resident cannot assist with a transfer from their bed to a wheelchair but can still assist with bearing weight. The resident would be at risk of a fall transfer injury if they attempted the transfer themselves or with a single assistant. A two-person assist is necessary and would involve two qualified assistants working together to support the resident’s weight and ensure their safety during the transfer. The assistants would lift the resident and move them to the wheelchair, avoiding obstacles and maintaining proper posture and alignment.
Illinois Fall Transfer Injury Attorneys
Transfer injuries can have a profound impact on the health and well-being of nursing home residents. It is essential for families and friends to be aware of the dangers of transfer injuries and to take steps to protect their loved ones. If you believe that your loved one has suffered a transfer injury, it is important to seek legal assistance to investigate the facts and determine whether the nursing home is legally responsible for your loved one’s injuries.
The Noll Law Office is committed to assisting victims of transfer injuries in Illinois. They encourage individuals or their loved ones who have experienced a transfer injury to reach out to them for more information on their rights and the services they offer to support them at (217) 414-8889.