Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mismatched mechnical lift and sling cause of Darlene's death. Is she the only one?

With the national average for nursing home falls with major injury at 3.2%, there is a lot of room for improvement. It never occured to me that one of the causes would be from the use of mechanical lift.  Afterall, mechanical lift equipment was created to assist in fall reduction and assist in patient safety.

Nursing home resident, Darlene Carbaugh, died from a nursing home's decision to mix and match lift equipment- the sling and mechanical lift were from different companies. During a transfer nursing home staff used a Medline mechanical lift with a sling manufactured by Arjo. Medline Lift Manual warns about using non Medline Slings. See picture below.   Darlene, 87, was a former school teacher, mother of two sons, and wife to WWII veteran. You can see her bright smile in this article in the Des Moines Register.


The MDS coordinator for the nursing home stated there were two Arjo slings in the facility, no Medline slings. State report here.

Patient families need to start asking questions and be knowledgeable about these types of issues.

One easy way to prevent this type of issue is to require a product number specific to the mechanical lift prior to an order completion.

What are your thoughts?

Is this something you would check for or ask questions before you choose a nursing home for yourself or a loved one if they needed mechanical assistance? What about hospitals or rehab centers?

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