fall from mechanical lift ends in death

  1. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07340/839705-100.stm
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   snowfreeze
    OK so what really happened here? Was there no spotter? Did maintenance ignore problems with this lift? Did the patient simply freak out and dive out of the lift?
  4. by   oramar
    Quote from snowfreeze
    OK so what really happened here? Was there no spotter? Did maintenance ignore problems with this lift? Did the patient simply freak out and dive out of the lift?
    I was thinking the same thing. If they would let people know more details then we would know what precautions to take.
  5. by   crissrn27
    Wish we knew the details. I hope this will not make families leery of lifts, they save many a injury to staff.
  6. by   Plagueis
    I would also like to know more about this story. I have seen residents nearly fall out of lifts because the resident didn't like the lift, and they were trying to get out (i.e. flailing and wiggling), despite a company rep claiming that a resident would not be able to climb out of a mechanical lift.
  7. by   ktwlpn
    I went to the "nursing home compare" site and read the latest inspection results from this place.They have got alot of problems.They'll post the results of the investigation surrounding this incident in the future-I'll keep an eye on it...
  8. by   caliotter3
    I almost was ready to strangle to death a fellow CNA who left a very large and helpless lady dangling in midair in a lift while he ran out of the room looking for me to help him do his work that he was not up to. I told him how much of a safety hazard he was placing upon the poor resident and after dealing with him for a good portion of the shift, finally complained to the charge nurse. She talked to him and suddenly he just "had to leave work early". I ended up finishing his residents as well as my own. Actually, he had only taken care of two residents, one of them being the lady he endangered. I was better off working alone that night. I mean, really, how distracted do you have to be to leave a large person who is not with it, dangling in midair in the lift? She was not even over the bed, where any fall could have been broken by the bed. That CNA quit soon thereafter. Not cut out for the job.
  9. by   bethin
    Quote from caliotter3
    I almost was ready to strangle to death a fellow CNA who left a very large and helpless lady dangling in midair in a lift while he ran out of the room looking for me to help him do his work that he was not up to.
    I float to our hospital's in house LTCF. We use lifts that I am not familiar with as we don't have any on med surg. I asked for help with one, the DON explained it to me and said "you can do it by yourself". I didn't. I refuse to use a lift by myself. I just don't have enough hands to steer, move their legs so they don't get jammed into something and hold them in the sling as their wiggling.

    I would love to hear why this happened. Machine malfunction or human error?
  10. by   nightmare
    We use lifts/hoists all the time.Our risk assessment for these states that they are not to be used by one member of staff.As previous poster said you just can't control everything yourself.We find moving these hoists even on vinyl flooring very heavy and definitely a risk to your back,in fact,more staff are complaining about shoulder and upper arm pain using them.That said we would not be without them!!If you have a completely complaint, very with-it person on the hoist(not a thing you find often in a nursing home!)It is possible to do it with one but even then it is frowned on by health and safety.
  11. by   NNx3_07
    Hello to all, This is my first post, after reading many helpful posts previously. I am a new grad and was reading this with my mouth hanging open and being thankful that I had no mishaps. I was instructed to use a mechanical lift during my 1st semester & VERY FIRST clinical rotation at a LTC facility BY MYSELF. Who knew I was supposed to have someone assisting, I was just shown how to operate it and left to do it on my own, week after week.
  12. by   Truth66
    Where I work, we've unfortunately had three different residents fall out of mechanical lifts this year alone. Two residents were in jured while a staff member caught the third resident and got injured.
    After the first resident fell, management did not investigate to determine what happened.
    After several months a second resident fell and a staff member caught the resident and got injured. The injured nurse insisted that the lift and slings get investigated. The investigation revealed the wrong type of slings were being used.
    More than three weeks went by after the investigation and management failed to bring in proper slings. Then a third resident fell hitting the back of her head at the base of the lift.
    Nearly three months have passed after the third incident and management has insisted that they will not investigate and replace the slings in other parts of the building.
    I have little use or respect for any nurse manager who gambles with the safety and lives of those resident's under they're care.
  13. by   MUUGUZI
    That is truly sad and, I suspect, preventable.

    I always tell the CNAs to make sure that there are two of them together when using a mechanical lift. One has to stay right next to the patient/resident/client/... while the other maneuvers the lift. Just like when I was an aide and we used a Hoyer lift.

    No, I don't care that policy says that only one aide is necessary.
    And not no, but H*LL no, I don't care what the mech. lift representative said--he is being paid to blow smoke up our ying-yangs. You can bet your bottom dollar the rep will have totally different story in COURT when we are trying to explain why that patient died or sustained serious injuries!
    'Nuff said.
  14. by   Truth66
    I totally agree that there should always be two staff members at all times when using any kind of mechanical lift.
    The unfortunate reality is that many facilities are so under staffed that it's nearly impossible to have the second staff member. This is due to the fact that staff are under pressure to get these residents/patients up by a certain time in order to have them all fed.
    Let's face it that there's also a lot of bullying from all kinds of sources whether it be management, senior staff, the resident's/patients, family members etc. when it comes to transfering. Many staff will do these transfers by themselves just to get away from the pressures of the bullying and other forms of intimidation.
    Residents/patients falling out of lifts are yet another dangerous example of a toxic work environment.
    Right now I'm experiencing alot of resistance from various sources with regards to the three incidents that I earlier described. Many managers and administrators don't want their staff to be knowledgable and to investigate these types of incidents. They want compliant puppets. Yet, ultimately it's the residents and in some cases the staff who get injured as a direct result.
    Where's the accountability for Nurse Managers and Administrators?

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