Hoyer Lift Accident Attorney
Hoyer lifts can be used to help lift and move patients in nursing homes. However, when the device is misused, Hoyer lift accidents can result in serious injuries or death after a patient is dropped or otherwise mishandled.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has successfully resolved cases where our clients suffered severe injury or died in a Hoyer lift accident where the staff failed to follow transfer guidelines. Our nursing home abuse legal team now accepts all personal injury cases, medical malpractice claims, and wrongful death lawsuits.
Hoyer Portable Lifting Device
A Hoyer lift is a portable device that helps nursing staff transport patients between two locations within a relatively short distance apart. Lifts are often used to help a patient from a bed into a chair, from a chair onto a toilet, or as a means to lift elderly people into a bathtub.
The portability of the versatile tool is not as safe as a ceiling lift. It is exceptionally crucial that competently train staff members supervise every patient being lifted or transported in a lift to ensure safety.
The assistance of two people is often required to properly transport a patient using a Hoyer lift, which uses a sling as support for caregivers moving a resident to an intended destination. Investigators often cite a lack of proper supervision or training for the safe operation of Hoyer lifts as common reasons for nursing home falls.
The Most Common Causes of Hoyer Lift Falls
The Hoyer lift can be a handy device when used correctly. However, the irresponsible use of the device or disregard for regular maintenance or inspection can prove disastrous. Causes of Hoyer lift falls can include the following:
- Understaffing of nursing facilities - Understaffing often results in staff members being overworked and forced to perform tasks alone that require more than one worker. Caregivers may attempt to use the device alone to move a patient when another staff member is not available, which can result in a fall with disastrous results, including broken bones and head injuries.
- Leaving patients unattended - Caregivers leaving a patient unsupervised while still strapped into the Hoyer lift are beyond irresponsible. In some incidents, other pressing concerns lure the worker away, further exhibiting the impact of failing staffing policies.
- Lack of training or improper training instructions - Many Hoyer lift accidents happen because the staff members don't understand how to use the device correctly. The patient needs to be adequately seated according to the manufacturer's specifications and secured by the lift straps.
Expecting staff members with little or no training to use the equipment properly is a recipe for disaster.
- Ineffective maintenance practices - All machines need to be maintained regularly to ensure efficient and safe operation. The sling and straps can fray over time, and ignoring required maintenance could result in the straps breaking while bearing the patient's weight.
Hoyer Lift Accident FAQs
How do You Transfer a Patient with a Hoyer Lift?
The patient is placed into a fabric U-shape sling with hooks connected to four sling attachment points connected to a sling bar and boom. The device uses an electric motor or manual pump to raise and lower the patient during the transfer.
The boom on the unit does not move left or right. Because of that, the Hoyer lift must be transported on wheels and positioned over to its intended location before lowering the patient down to a safe position.
When Should a Hoyer Lift be Used?
Nursing Staff is often required to use Hoyer lifts when transferring a patient from a bed to a chair, chair to a toilet, or into a tub. The lift should be used when 90%-100% assistance is required for lifting.
How do You Manually Lift a Patient?
Powered Hoyer lifts use an electric motor. Alternatively, a manually operated Hoyer lift uses a hydraulic mechanism to transfer the patient from one location to another chair, bed, or tub safely. The device uses the same U-shape sling and weighs significantly less than a powered unit. Each manufacturer provides specific details on how to use the device safely.
How do You use a Full Body Sling on a Hoyer Lift?
The process is straightforward but requires significant patience to ensure a safe transfer from one location to another. Manufacturers typically recommend that the patient be laid on one side before folding the sling lengthwise in half.
The sling is then slid underneath the patient's body in both directions. At that point, the patient can be rolled on to their back into a suit by a physician for attachment onto the sling.
How do You Lift and Transfer a Patient?
It can be significantly more challenging to transfer a patient from one location to another without a Hoyer lift or other transfer device. When necessary, hold the individual close your body during the lifting and transferring from one location to another.
The closer to the patient is to you, the better the center of gravity, making it easier to remain in a steady position during the transfer. This procedure avoids the need to extend your arms, which could cause you to slip, fall, or drop the patient due to the weaker lower our muscles.
Alarming Fall Data Regarding Nursing Home Patients
There are many reasons for concern about the fall prevention measures being taken if your loved one is receiving care from a nursing home. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that 100 to 200 fall events occur annually in facilities with a hundred beds or more.
The CDC also estimates that three out of four nursing patients will fall every year, and as many as 20% of the falls will result in injuries that require medical attention. As many as 1,800 patients lose their lives due to injuries suffered in falls every year in the United States.
One Hoyer lift fall can increase the chances that elderly patients will suffer severe trauma, including fractures. The nursing home patient might strike their head and experience a traumatic brain injury, which could have a long-lasting impact on cognitive function. The location of the accident can influence the types of injuries that result, as well.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is committed to providing award-winning legal services to everyone who has suffered harm due to the reckless actions of others. Our Chicago nursing injury lawyers specialize in nursing home law and have successfully secured compensation on behalf of thousands of people just like you.
If your loved one has been injured in a fall, we are here to help you find the answers you seek and the compensation you deserve to recover medical expenses in pay for pain, mental anguish, and suffering.
Hoyer Lift Injury Claims and Awards
$250,000 Chicago Settlement; Nursing Home Hoyer Lift Accident
The improper use of a Hoyer lift when lifting a resident in their late seventies occurred at a Chicago-area nursing home when the staff was moving the patient from the chair to the bed using a Hoyer lift. The resident was dropped to the floor and broke her femur bone, suffering injuries requiring immediate and critical care.
The dropped cost the injured victim over $50,000 and left her with long-term pain and suffering. She filed a lawsuit against the nursing home complaining that negligence played a part in the operation of the Hoyer lift.
The injured victim argued that the nursing home failed to train its employees correctly, and due to that negligence, she suffered injuries and sustained economic, personal, and other damages. The facility compensated the victim by negotiating a $250,000 financial settlement.
$225,000 Chicago Settlement; Nursing Home Hoyer Lift Accident
Doctors warned the nursing staff that the ninety-two-year-old nursing home resident with dementia could fall without ongoing supervision. Reports indicated that she fell on several occasions, which led to injuries to her head, legs, and other areas.
The woman developed bed sores and other open wounds during her recovery from the falls. During her healing, the nursing staff used a Hoyer lift to move her around, including getting the woman in and out of bed. On one occasion, she fell out of the Hoyer lift while the nursing staff was using the device for transport.
The drop aggravated her pre-existing injuries. The victim sued the Illinois nursing facility, saying that she would have never developed bedsores had she not been dropped.
The lawsuit document claimed the assisted living facility was responsible for her pain, suffering, and hospital bills. Ultimately, the defendant (nursing home) offered to settle the case with the plaintiff (the injured woman) for $225,000 in financial compensation.
$350,000 Chicago Settlement; Nursing Home Hoyer Lift Accident
The injured nursing home resident in her late 80s had lived in the facility for nearly one year without issues. On one occasion, nursing home staff members tried to move her from her chair onto her bed using a Hoyer lift.
However, the staff failed to securely fasten her into the device, causing her to slip out of the straps (nursing home neglect). The victim tumbled to the floor and suffered broken bones and a hip fracture.
She ultimately succumbed to her injuries and other pre-existing conditions. Her surviving family members filed legal action against the facility claiming nursing home negligence when operating a Hoyer lift and wrongful death.
Their legal complaint acknowledged that the woman was already battling many other health problems when the accident occurred. However, the family argued, the home's negligence participated in causing her pain, and eventually, her wrongful death.
The facility conceded to the plaintiff's complaints and offered to settle for an amount significantly lower than the value of the claim. When the plaintiffs pushed to trial to obtain justice, the defendant raised the amount of financial compensation, and the family accepted the out of court settlement.
Hiring a Nursing Home Hoyer Lift Accident Lawyer
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