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Improper Use of Hoyer Lift at Lutheran Care Center Fractures Resident’s Hip

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of neglect concerns at the Lutheran Care Center in Little Falls, Minnesota. A complaint was filed with the MDH alleging that while transferring a resident with a Hoyer lift, a nursing assistant failed to cross the leg straps resulting in the resident sliding out of the sling. The resident hip was fractured.

The MDH investigated the matter and found that the vulnerable resident — who was nonverbal, severely cognitively impaired, unable to walk, totally dependent on staff, and required two plus person physical assist for all transfers with a mechanical lift. On January 22, 2012, two nursing assistants transferred the resident using a mechanical lift sling. They failed to cross the straps of the sling at the knees causing the resident to slip out of the sling as they raised her from the wheelchair. After the fall, one nursing assistant went to get a Registered Nurse. The three staff members proceeded to manually lift the resident from the floor and place her on the bed, without using the mechanical lift. This was inconsistent with the resident’s careplan and training provided by the facility. The MDH investigation further revealed that the facility failed to ensure comprehensive training including competency of staff for safe mechanical lift transfers by nursing assistants. Lutheran Care Center failed to have policies consistent with staff training and manufacturer’s instructions. Additionally, that facility failed to develop resident care plans to reflect the type and size of mechanical lift sling device to be used for the residents. The MDH determined that Lutheran Care Center was responsible for neglect of the facility’s resident. [Case no. H5399015]

This is not the first investigation of Lutheran Care Center by the MDH. In May 2011, the MDH found that the facility was responsible for neglect when it violated a resident’s rights. The facility discouraged hospice services as requested. The facility staff indicated they could provide adequate end of life services, however, the resident was not provided oxygen when needed. [Case no. H5399013]

Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 55-bed nursing home facility. Medicare has assigned an overall rating to Lutheran Care Center as a “much below average” facility. In addition, Medicare has assigned an overall rating to Lutheran Care Center as a “much below average” facility based on the government’s health inspections of the facility. Deficiencies cited by Medicare include Lutheran Care Center’s failure to:

  • Conduct initial and periodic assessments of each resident’s functional capacity;
  • Check and assess each resident’s assessment at least every three months;
  • Make sure each resident receives an accurate assessment by a qualified health professional;
  • Make sure each resident has the right to have a choice over activities, their schedules and health care, according to his or her interests, assessment and plan of care; and
  • Make sure that a working call system is available in each resident’s room or bathroom and bathing area.

If you believe your loved one has been harmed due to a nursing home’s neglect, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.