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A article by investigative reporter, Chris Serres, published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reveals:

  • Maple Manor Health Care & Rehabilitation, a nursing home in Rochester, Minnesota, was found responsible for neglect after it failed to properly maintain mechanical lifts, causing a resident to fall from a harness and die in March.  Click here to see our blog about the Minnesota Department of Health’s investigative report .
  • This 80-bed nursing home failed to implement safety precautions after experiencing ongoing problems with safety catches popping off a mechanical lift for moving patients called an EZ Lift. “The facility had no records of any inspections or maintenance performed on the lifts.”
  • “The resident, who suffered from severe dementia, was being transferred from a bed to a wheelchair when the transfer harness slipped, and the resident fell 4 feet from the harness. The safety catch, which secures the transfer harness on the lift, was missing. The resident suffered fractures of the spine and a scalp laceration from the resulting fall and died five days later at a hospital.”
  • “Maple Manor had experienced problems with safety catches popping off its mechanical lifts for six to nine months before the resident’s death, state investigators found. ‘The facility failed to implement a system to reduce avoidable accidents with EZ lift mechanical devices,’ the Department of Health wrote in its report.”

The Star Tribune article reports further that:

  • the “misuse of mechanical lifts has been the cause of numerous deaths and injuries at senior homes across the nation. The lifts contain straps and harnesses that are needed to keep the patient safely in place during transfers. When these are not attached properly before the lifts are activated, frail and elderly people can suffer fatal falls. In other cases, the lifts have tipped over when the move is done improperly.”
  • “There have been at least four deaths at senior homes in Minnesota involving mechanical lifts since 2010. In 2012, workers at an Eden Prairie nursing home failed to check that all of the loops on a sling were attached to a mechanical lift. The resident fell to the floor, suffered a collapsed lung, and developed respiratory and renal failure before dying three days later at a hospital, according to a Department of Health report.”
  • “The death marks at least the fifth time this year that a senior home in Minnesota has been found responsible by state regulators for neglect following the death of an elderly resident.”

“These devices are simple, but they need to be operated correctly,” said Mark Kosieradzki, a Plymouth attorney who specializes in cases of nursing home neglect and abuse. “We see over and over again that facilities cut corners in operating lifts and people die.”

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, 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.