Nursing Homes Incorrectly Uses Hoyer Lift, Results in Broken Bones and Lacerations

Honorage Nursing Center in Florence, SC, has been cited after state investigators found that the facility “failed to protect [a resident] for abuse/neglect.” In this situation, a resident was transferred inappropriately with a Hoyer Lift, resulting in skin lacerations and broken bones.

According to the nurse’s notes, a nurse had been called to a resident’s room by a CNA Nursing Assistant). When the nurse entered the room, the resident was in the Hoyer Lift incorrectly, and the lift was tilted sideways. The right front Hoyer pad was not attached to the Hoyer.

The CNA explained that she was using the Hoyer Lift to transfer the resident from their wheelchair to bed, but “the front bar which holds the Hoyer pad tilted sideways and the right front Hoyer pad hook slid off the metal bar of the Hoyer lift.” The CNA and nurse eased the resident to the floor. Another staff member helped the nurse and CNA assist the resident back into bed.

When the Hoyer lift fell, the resident ended up with a 1 inch deep laceration on their left lower leg. The resident also complained of pain in their right arm. The resident was taken to the ER (emergency room). X-rays showed that the resident’s right shoulder and elbow were fractured.

In an interview with the surveyor, the LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) stated that one of the straps was not attached to the Hoyer Lift. It wasn’t torn or damaged but had not been hooked correctly. The nurse stated she spoke to the CNA and asked if she had any assistance when attempting to move the resident. The CNA said she could not find anybody to help and attempted to lift the resident alone. The nurse told the CNA she should never lift a resident by herself, and showed the CNA how the pad attached to the lift properly to prevent a strap from slipping off the hook.
Review of the nursing home facility’s Policy and Procedure on how to use the Hoyer Lift revealed:

  • The Hoyer lift is operated with two facility employees present at all times while resident is being transferred. Lift Pads are to be placed under the resident while in bed. Prior to transfers make sure chains/straps are properly secured to Hoyer lift bar. Do not attempt to operate the Hoyer Lift alone or with the assistance of family members, friends or volunteers.

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

Policies and procedures are in place to prevent the mistreatment, neglect and abuse of residents.
It is important that nursing home facilities follow these policies and procedures to protect their residents. In this case, failure to use the Hoyer Lift as instructed resulted in harm to a resident that could have been completely preventable.

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.