Elderly Man Suffers Serious Injuries Due to Negligent Nursing Care

    Nursing Expert WitnessThis case involves an elderly man in Tennessee who suffered injuries after being lifted up improperly. The man had been bedridden for an extended period of time due to a degenerative nervous system condition. The man was to be transferred into a wheelchair for transportation to another part of the hospital. Two nurses then attempted to move him by pulling on his arms, causing the man to scream in pain. Nevertheless, the nurses continued their attempts to lift the man, eventually dropping him on the floor and causing a serious arm injury.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please explain your background in the nursing field and particular knowledge of proper lifting elderly patients?
    • 2. What kind of injuries and complications can arise from lifting patient from arms?

    Expert Witness Response E-007135

    I am a professor of nursing in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical setting. I teach proper body mechanics to my nursing students to prevent patient and self injury. The patient and nurse can be injured if the patient is lifted by the arms. The patient could be dropped or the arm(s) may be dislocated. This is also not proper body mechanics for the nurse, as lifting requires use of the legs when lifting up the patient to avoid back injury by the nurse. If the patient is frail, obese, or has poor bone integrity, a fracture may occur if lifted by the arms. I am familiar with the teaching related to lifting and proper body mechanics provided to nursing students. This is the same technique followed by nursing assistants.

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