NHC Healthcare in Clinton, South Carolina, has been cited after a resident suffered a fractured femur while being transferred by one staff member instead of the required two.
According to the report, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) transferred a resident without the assistance of another staff member or lift as required. The resident fell and suffered a femur fracture, a serious fall that the care plan had already tried to prevent by requiring multiple staff and a mechanical lift.
While the CNA tried to transfer them to the shower, the resident’s knees buckled, and they slipped to the floor. Shower areas can be very dangerous for nursing home residents, as the ground is easy to slip on, especially if the area is wet from the shower.
The CNA used the emergency call light in the shower room to ask for help. A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) responded and saw that the CNA had the resident’s wheelchair and shower chair, but no other equipment like a lift to ensure the resident’s safety.
After the fall, the resident complained of pain and received Tylenol. They also received an x-ray and was diagnosed with a fractured femur.
This resident’s care plan required that they have at least two staff and a lift for all transfers, but the CNA tried to conduct multiple transfers to and from the shower area without assistance. Every resident’s care plan was posted in the resident’s closet in this facility, which was easily accessible and known to the CNA. The LPN confirmed that the CNA knew this about the resident and knew how to find each resident’s care plan.
The CNA knew that the resident required two staff for transfers and worked with the resident regularly. This signals that the CNA likely put residents in danger repeatedly, ignoring individual care plans for convenience.
The CNA was fired for this incident but had likely put many residents at risk, given that they were comfortable with taking such a big risk with the resident’s safety.
The Unit Manager did not report this incident to state authorities because they claimed there was nothing to investigate, as the CNA had chosen to ignore the policy in place to keep the resident safe.
This nursing home decided not to report this incident despite the requirement to do so, keeping it from anyone outside the nursing home. Transparency is important not only for nursing home residents but also for their loved ones who want to stay informed about the condition of care in that facility.
Nursing homes make profits from new residents; reports of neglect like this could make the difference between making a sale and losing residents they already have.
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