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Resident Falls and Breaks Hip, Despite Alarms Sounding

An elderly woman couldn’t walk safely by herself. She had advanced osteoporosis, dementia and a history of falling. To deal with these ailments, the staff at the nursing home put up many safeguards, including a bed alarm, a motion sensor, a sound monitor, a perimeter mattress and a bathroom light. The moved the victim to a room where they could watch her more closely. Still she was able to get up and walk around in the middle of the night, sounding the alarms. Nobody heard them and the victim was able to move a trash can into the hallway and took a bad fall. Two nurses aides and a licensed nurse were working in her unit, but one of the aides had gone over to another part of the building to cover staff breaks. Thus, there was no one at the nurse’s station to hear the alarms go off, causing the woman to fall and break her hip. The victim never recovered from her broken hip and died five days after the fall. State investigators found the nursing home neglectful and verified that the alarms could not be heard from the nurse’s station or other wings of the unit. To read more about nursing home negligence, please click the link.