A 29-year-old former nursing home aide has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after failure to follow his training on using lifts caused the death of an elderly resident.
Foot Nearly Broke off From Victim’s Body
On September 10, 2017, Francisco Javier Ramirez was aiding 100 year old Evelyn Augusta Schweim with bathing at Sunwood Good Samaritan Center in Redwood Falls, Minnesota when she fell and fractured her foot so severely that it nearly separated from her body. Despite participating in two lift trainings, including one just a month before, Ramirez raised the swing chair lift to nearly 5 feet, three feet above the maximum height allowed for transferring a patient from the bathtub. He also was assisting Ms. Schweim alone, another violation of the facility’s protocol for transferring residents.
After Ms. Schweim fell 5 feet to the ground from the lift, fracturing her foot and ankle, Mr. Ramirez attempted to move her from the doorway by pulling on her bathrobe. He then left her to go get seek help. Moving a patient and leaving a patient alone after a fall are both violations of transfer and fall protocol. Evelyn Augusta Schweim died 7 days after her fall. She was 100 years old.
Francisco Javier Ramirez has been charged with second-degree manslaughter and criminal neglect (both felonies), along with a misdemeanor charge of criminal neglect and mistreatment of a resident. He is being held on $90,000 bail.
Falls in Nursing Homes
This we know: the elderly are naturally more prone to falls. What many may not know is that falls are happening more frequently among the elderly. A CDC report earlier this year found that the number of falls are up 31% since 2007.
When families seek out a nursing home for a loved one, many report being assured by staff that compassionate care will be provided and that all residents are carefully monitored. We know from experience that many nursing homes understaff their facilities and skimp on employee training. As we’ve seen by the death of Evelyn Schweim, even when fall prevention training on transferring and lifting patients has been provided to staff, sometimes they simply fail to follow it, resulting in serious injuries and in this case, death.
A fall during a lift transfer should never happen. Staff should not transfer residents alone and should abide by the rules regarding use of the lift. If someone you love has fallen in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, call the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti.
We have over 25 years experience pursuing justice for those injured by abuse or neglect in a nursing home. We’ve successfully settled and tried thousands of cases against nursing homes throughout Chicago and the state of Illinois. Call us now at (312) 332-2872 or toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 for a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys. Or click here to complete our online case evaluation form.