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Fatal Fall

Published on July 19th, 2011

The Minnesota Star Tribune reported Augustana Health Care Center failed to properly care for a resident who fell out of his wheelchair and suffered a fatal head injury last March, according to a state investigation. Staff  "did not assess, monitor and treat [the resident] in a timely manner" after his March 8 fall, according to the Minnesota Health Department’s Office of Health Facilities Complaints.

In addition to citing the home for neglect, the agency noted its history of "substantial past noncompliance" by failing to meet professional standards for handling head injuries.  The man died March 10 of a "massive intracranial hemorrhage," or bleeding that put pressure on his brain and deprived him of oxygen, according to the investigation and death certificate.

Nursing homes must monitor a resident’s condition.  Nursing homes must assess residents after a fall.  Nursing homes must recognize changes in a resident’s condition. 

Four hours after the man fell, his condition deteriorated significantly. He was taken to a hospital and died two days later.

 

Joe Pioletti
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