Preventable Fall Injury Highlighted in Survey at Illinois Veterans Home
In Quincy, the Illinois Veterans Home recently reported a resident fall incident on March 15, 2021, to the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH). According to a follow-up survey led by the state on March 27, 2021, a resident (R1) was injured from a fall after the facility failed to keep his environment safe and a walkway free of clutter. The resident told surveyors he had tripped on a cord and hit his head after falling to the floor. The man was transferred via ambulance to a local hospital to treat a forehead laceration that required seven sutures and a brain injury diagnostic scan. The man was admitted to the hospital overnight for observation.
IDPH’s fall incident investigation documented this pattern of events:
- “R1 was sitting in his recliner. R1 stated that he was ambulating back from the bathroom and tripped over a long black cord that was out in the middle of the room on the floor. R1 pointed to his forehead and said, “See my scar.” R1 then stated that he had to have several stitches. R1 also pointed to the HEPA air filtration system located next to the wall in his room.
- A nursing supervisor stated that the resident had a fall from tripping over a cord in his path. He received medical treatment to his forehead and an overnight stay at a local hospital. The supervisor further stated that the cord should have been coiled up and placed to the back of the machine and not in the path of where the resident walks.
- A director of nursing also stated that the cord should have been tucked behind the air filtration unit and that the resident tripped and fell due to the cord being in the walkway.”
IDPH concluded its investigation and determined through the witness statement that “the fall most probably occurred due to the resident tripping over a cord in his room and losing his balance.” As a result, the older man sustained a 4-centimeter laceration to the center of his forehead. The fall could have been prevented if the cord had been pushed away and the walkway left uncluttered.
As many as 75% of nursing facility residents are reported falling each year and carry twice the chances of falling than a senior who lives in their own home or community.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
If you would like support and advice on a legal case against a nursing home or long-term care facility related to a preventable fall injury, abuse, or neglect, please contact us for a free consultation at 877-374-1417. You can also reach us in Chicago at 312-332-2872. All calls and discussions with our attorneys are confidential.