Fall and Injury at The Villa
As if things could not get any worse for nursing homes and nursing home residents in the South Holland, Illinois area, there is now more news of a horrific incident in which a nursing home resident at The Villa at South Holland suffered severe injuries. The victim in this case suffers from dementia and is thus unable to speak and unable to move on her own volition. Due to her inability to move on her own, nursing home staffers are supposed to employ what is called a “hoyer lift” in order to lift and move the resident.
However, in this particular instance, a registered nurse (RN) directed a certified nursing assistant (CNA) to move the patient directly. When one of them inadvertently stepped on the resident’s blanked and caused her to fall out of her wheelchair, the resident fell to the floor and suffered a major head wound. She was subsequently taken to the emergency room, where she had to receive nine staples in her head to mend the gash on the back of her head.
The certified nursing assistant nurse in this case exposed the incident to local reporters on condition of anonymity. However, in addition to news about the incident, she disclosed that when an ambulance arrived, the paramedics questioned her about what occurred. Another nurse who had been on a different floor when the accident happened, cut off the CNA before she could respond, telling the paramedics that how it happened was irrelevant, and subsequently instructed the CNA to state that the accident occurred while using a hoyer lift to move the patient.
This would obviously constitute a cover-up because while there is no denying that a fall and injury occurred, failing to state that it occurred while the CAN tried to directly move the resident instead of using the prescribed hoyer lift would be an admission of negligence and a failure to follow the rules of care for that particular resident. The CNA indicated in the local news report that multiple superiors instructed her to lie about the event by providing a statement of just a few sentences, which they prepared, about the incident to investigators from the Illinois Department of Public Health, instead of the three-page long account that she prepared herself. Before resigning, the CNA made sure investigators heard the story from her, exemplifying the importance of nursing home staffers doing the right thing, speaking up, and trying to watch out for the best interests of residents.
Holland Homes under Fire Have Same Owner
The owner of the home involved in this particular incident and alleged cover-up also happens to be the owner of the Holland Home across the street, which is also under investigation. The latter facility has been in the news in recent weeks, as well as discussed multiple times in this blog space, is under inquiry by the state after six of its residents became ill with blood pressure and respiratory problems. One of those residents died soon after, while two others died a few weeks later. The first death was attributed to a major overdose of painkillers morphine and hydrocodone, and was recently ruled a homicide. The IDPH is already investigating that incident further, and reportedly will look into this accident and alleged cover-up at The Villa as well. The mutual owner, Villa Healthcare, is based in Skokie.
This case shows the importance of those who speak up and do the right thing, yet also serves as a warning that while accidents may inevitably happen, cover-ups for a failure to follow protocol or for violations can ultimately keep investigators from the truth and can ultimately threaten the well-being of residents in the long-term.
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