Nursing Home Patient Sustains Fracture From Improper Hoyer Transfer

On November 9, 2010, an 80-year-old patient was improperly transferred at the nursing home without the use of a Hoyer lift. As a result of the transfer, the patient sustained a dislocated left glenohumeral joint with a fracture through the humeral head extending through the greater tuberosity.

The patient experienced significant pain as a result of the dislocation and fracture and was transferred to the hospital the day after the fall. Non-surgical treatment of the dislocation and fracture was recommended. The patient’s shoulder was reduced and placed in a shoulder immobilizer. The patient was returned to the nursing home.

On December 23, 2010, the patient was transferred from her bed to a shower chair and back to bed. As a result of the transfer, the patient sustained an anterior interior subluxation of the humeral head. The patient was transferred to the hospital, where the physician placed her shoulder in a sling. The dislocation was not reduced because it would dislocate again without surgery. The patient was not a surgical candidate. She was returned to the nursing home on December 23, 2010.

The family contacted us to pursue claims against the nursing home for failing to provide proper fall prevention care. We submitted the case to arbitration over which a former judge presided. The arbitrator awarded the family with a generous amount.