— State health officials have cited an Arlington nursing home in a case where a resident who was left unattended in a bathroom, fell and injured his hip and later died.
The state investigation found that a nurse at Good Samaritan Society in Arlington helped the resident to the bathroom about 6:45 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2011, but then gave him a call light and left to answer a question from a new employee.
Another staff member saw the resident fall as he was going back to bed. The resident was given an ice pack and pain reliever after complaining of a sore hip. The next day he was sent to the hospital where he was found to have injured his hip. He died shortly after of pneumonia, according to the medical examiner.
The Center for Disease Control says that injuries from falls by the elderly increase their risk of dying from other causes.
The resident’s care plan directed staff to stay in his room while he was in the bathroom as he had a history of falls.
The nurse told Minnesota Department of Health investigators she didn’t know the resident’s care plan required her to stay in the room, although the resident’s care plan was available to her.
The nurse was disciplined by the home, according to the report.
An executive with Good Samaritan, a nonprofit based in Sioux Falls, told the Star Tribune the organization is still reviewing the report. Good Samaritan has about 35 nursing homes, 25 assisted-living facilities and seven home health agencies in Minnesota, and operates in several other states.
A spokesman for Good Samaritan could not be reached by The Free Press.