Resident Falls and Dies; Southwest Virginia Nursing Home Settles

The resident was identified as a high fall risk on admission to the nursing home. He was, by order, to wear hip pads at all times and was to be placed in a gerichair only if the chair was equipped with a tabletop. The nursing home placed the resident in a gerichair at the nurse’s station, and the resident reportedly “got up from gerichair and fell backwards.” At the time of the fall, the resident’s gerichair was not equipped with a tray and he was not wearing hip pads. The nursing home also failed to place a fall alarm on his gerichair to alert staff when he attempted to rise from the chair. The fall caused a displaced fracture of his left femur that required surgery. The resident was discharged from the hospital, was admitted to a new nursing home, and died there approximately one month later from pneumonia, which the resident’s family contended resulted from the hip fracture and surgery. The case settled for mid six figures.