An assisted-living facility has been found negligent in the death of a woman who hit her head after falling out of a mechanical lift in August. The Minnesota Department of Health reported the incident at GoldPine Home after conducting a visit to the facility in September and completing its report in November. In its findings, the DOH said “the facility failed to adequately train staff, failed to determine the appropriate sling size, and failed to maintain the mechanical lift according to (the) manufacturer’s recommendations.”
A representative with the Department of Health interviewed the workers involved in the incident on Sept. 13. The department held another interview 11 days later with the facility’s director of nursing, who indicated one of the workers involved with the incident was no longer an employee with GoldPine.
According to the report, the resident who died was in a wheelchair when an unlicensed worker attached the sling of the mechanical lift at about 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 7. Another unlicensed worker came to help transfer the resident from the wheelchair to the bed using the lift.
While they were moving the resident from the wheelchair to the bed, the resident slipped out of the sling and hit her head on the leg of the mechanical lift. The report said the lower half of the resident’s body was still in the sling when she struck her head.
The workers applied pressure to the wound and called for assistance. The resident died two days later after being taken to the emergency room and then to a hospital for care. The woman’s death certificate listed the cause of death as traumatic subdural hematoma (burst blood vessel) that resulted from the fall.