Resident Tips Another Resident out of Wheelchair, Causing Hip Injury

Springdale Healthcare Center in Camden, SC, has been cited for failing to prevent resident-to-resident abuse and failing to report the incident of abuse in a timely manner.

Don’t wait. Get help for nursing home abuse today.

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) stated that there was an altercation between two residents. One resident got out of bed and sat in their roommate’s wheelchair. The roommate saw this and began yelling at the resident sitting in the wheelchair, saying “This is my wheelchair. Get out.” The roommate lifted the wheelchair, causing the other resident to slide to the floor.

Once the resident had slid out of their wheelchair, another LPN who was assigned to the resident heard something pop. The LPN recommended that the resident go to the hospital, but the Director of Nursing did not respond to the notification at 5:30 am. The LPN continued to reach out, then contacted the Unit Manager at 6:00 am. The LPN did not get a response and stopped their efforts to call a supervisor, citing the fact that they were busy doing paperwork.

The LPN’s actions kept a resident with a likely serious injury from the care they needed. This LPN may have seen the injury as minor, but stated in the interview with the state investigator writing this report that the resident should receive care at a hospital. There are two clear possible reasons for this delay: the LPN did not prioritize the resident’s care because of their indifference to the resident’s welfare or the LPN was under a large amount of pressure to complete paperwork and saw no other alternative. Both of these reasons reflect poorly on the facility itself. Nursing homes must fulfill their obligation to work for residents’ health and well being as well as enable nursing staff to care for residents when needed, not overwork them.

The injured resident complained of right hip discomfort, and the facility made arrangements to relocate them to another room. The roommate was placed on 30-minute checks and given a psychiatric consultation five days following the incident. In a statement collected by the facility, the roommate said that they had woken up when they heard a noise in the room and saw the other resident going through their things. When the other resident sat in the wheelchair, the roommate stated that they walked over, took the handles, and “dumped” the other resident on the floor.

The incident occurred at 5:30 am, but was not reported until 8:30 am to the nursing home administrator. This should have happened much earlier, as the injured resident was waiting on care for a hip injury. The injured resident’s medical doctor and the responsible representatives for each party were notified after the Administrator. It is unclear when the resident was taken to the hospital, but the resident came back to the facility after they were admitted for their hip injury.

The roommate was interviewed by the state investigators compiling the citation report, but they did not remember the incident. They stated that they felt safe and were comfortable with the staff. The injured resident did not remember the incident either, but remembered that they moved to a private room because their previous roommate was noisy and loud.

In this instance, the nursing home did take the correct action by separating the residents, checking on the roommate who caused a resident’s injury, and getting the injured resident to the hospital. However, the facility failed to do so in a timely manner. Delaying resident care and the notification of a resident’s family can have serious consequences. A resident’s health could be jeopardized by delayed care, and important decisions could be made without the input of a resident’s representative as is sometimes necessary.

Don’t wait. Get help for nursing home abuse today.

If you suspect nursing home abuse, we will provide a free, confidential case evaluation with no obligation to hire us. With nearly 250 years of shared experience, Joye Law Firm attorneys are consistently recognized by clients and peers at the highest level of professional excellence. We make sure to fight hard for our clients and are honest with them every step of the way.