ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Two employees of a Lincoln County health center are accused of neglect after a woman fell and died from a mechanical lift when she wasn’t properly strapped in, according to charges filed Friday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The two were workers at the Divine Providence Health Center in Ivanhoe.

According to the charges, the resident of the facility was a vulnerable adult who had been there for several years after suffering a stroke. The woman required two staff members for all care, including medical transfers.

At about 3:15 p.m. on March 15, the woman was being transferred by a full body lift from a mechanical lift to a bed by two nursing assistants who were operating the lift, according to the complaint. Neither nursing assistant made sure that all four straps being used for the lift had the woman secured in place. When the patient was suspended about chest high in the air, she fell from the sling head-first onto the floor.

Her upper body also hit the metal framing of the lift, causing several head injuries. The woman’s condition deteriorated while she was in a hospital from March 18 to March 26. She died on March 29, with the cause being the fall from the lift.

Both nursing assistants were reprimanded with written warnings for failing to follow proper procedures during medical transfers and re-trained on using the mechanical lift. The complaint shows no record of termination for either employee.

Comments (17)
  1. See BS says:

    No one will want to work in a Nursing home if the law industry wants to cash in on them like the world is suppose to be perfect and mistake free.

    Personal Injury lawyers want everything to be vague, so Democrats can use old people to cry for more government fudning.

    1. Full of it says:

      I wish someone would drop you on your head, and say “oops it was just a mistake, sorry you’re dead”

      1. See BS says:

        Charging people crimes for everything won’t stop terrible accidents from happening in the real world.

        We live on the planet Earth — sorry if that doesn’t compute.

        1. jackactionhero says:

          Oh, well too bad so sad. This woman’s family has to expect that people will be dropped on their heads and killed from time to time. No big whoop, right?

    2. psshhh says:

      Really? This wasn’t just a mistake. They failed to do their job properly. If they had followed proper procedures they would have had nothing to worry about!

  2. Why are not fired says:

    Why were they not fired! A women died HELLO! I would never have my family member end up at that place since those to ladies are still working there come on it sure tells you about this place does not sound like a good place to put anyone, since they kept those to ladies after a women died.

  3. Once an NA always an NA up North says:

    I worked as an NA for over 10 years. I used mechanical lifts during those 10 years. It takes 2 NA’s to legally and comfortably transfer a resident. You check the straps. Check each other. One doesn’t assume the other one checked it.
    Yes, accidents happen, but that was a big FATAL one!
    Are you going to try and BS me and tell me that if that was your grandmother or mother that you wouldn’t press charges for neglect?
    They had to fill out incident reports and have drug testing,more than likely, most do. If they come out drug/alcohol free they shouldn’t be fired .The NA’s will have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

  4. Jay says:

    Get a grip folk’s. This accident could happen in any institution! Hospitals too have mechanical devices that only a few have been trained to operate. MANY years ago, my son was placed in a foster bed, which is like a rottissire. After a few hours on one side the patient is flipped so what was on top, is now facing the floor, or visa versa. During a switch, a nurse pulled the wrong pins and consequently, my son was dropped to the floor. This was just mere hours after major back surgery. At the time only one nurse knew how to operate the bed, and she worked on a different shift. Accidents do happen sometimes because of a lack of training. My sympathy to this family for your loss. In the same token, since her strokes left her in such a state, she probably would have thanked the good lord for taking her. No one wants to live a life that has no quality.

    1. Me says:

      Aren’t you a caring parent.

      1. Jay says:

        Tell you what ME, Ive seen enough stroke victims that are unable to do anything, say anything or voice their wishes. My own Father wanted me to kill him, of course there was no way Id do it. You watch loved ones suffer from the variety of side effects that totally disable them and take away all they were, and you wouldnt wish it on your worst enemy. This woman was lucky in so many ways to not have to continue living the way she was. Accidents DO happen and in some cases for the better. Too many DO NOT want to live and wish there were laws allowing them assited suicide rather than suffer demeaning, painful deaths!

  5. kaycee says:

    i love how these nurses get a written warning, yet i read previous stories about nurses stealing meds from patients & they get fired…..pathetic in my eyes

  6. MeanJeans says:

    In nursing homes, staffing ratios are terrible. One nursing assistant can have 30 or more patients that they are expected to clean, feed and care for. If they were in a hurry, I can see how this may have happened if they weren’t paying close attention. Regardless of the reason, they should have checked to make sure the slings were in place before lifting this patient.

  7. jellybean says:

    Sad to say, but with state reimbursements to nursing homes being so low for those residents getting state funding, cuts are being made in staff to resident ratio!! Cuts are being made to nurses and nurses aides and it is getting scarey. Everything has to be done in a hurry and more medication errors and mechanical lift incidents are increasing!! Something needs to change for the safety of the residents!!

  8. Kathy Dunn, MS, RN, CRRN, CNS-BC says:

    Use use of lifts for patient transfers is now very common in both acute care hospitals and nursing homes, as home care. it would be unacceptable for a hospital or nursing home to use such equipment and not have extensively trained their staff in the proper use of this equipment, and assured their ongoing comptency to do so. Both the institution and the staff bear responsibility for failing to do so. The strap position and securement must be checked at least twice by both people involved in the lift in order for this to be done correctly.

  9. SRyan says:

    kaycee- read the article. These were not nurses, they were nursing assistants. Very different skills and jobs!!!
    multiple commenters- All nursing and nursing assistant staff is trained and tested out in proper usage of mechanical lifts during orientation when they are hired before they can even touch a patient or resident. This was not necesarilly a case of poor education, it was carelessness and hurrying.
    accidents happen, but preventable ones like this incident are what we term “never” incidents, as iin, they should never happen, especially for this reason.

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