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Health dept. blames Bemidji nursing home for resident's death

The victim fell and hit her head while being moved with a mechanical lift.

A Bemidji nursing home has been found negligent in the death of a resident who suffered a fatal head injury in a fall from a mechanical lift this year.

The place in question is Goldpine Home, which is on the 1700 block of 30th St. NW. The findings against it come from a lengthy Minnesota Department of Health report released Wednesday

The report accuses Goldpine of maltreatment, and says the facility is in "noncompliance with not providing competent staff" and "failure to report an incident of neglect."

So what exactly happened?

The report, which took about two months to put together, says the unnamed victim was being moved from a wheelchair to a bed one night in August when she slipped out of the sling being used to move her, falling and hitting "the right side of (her) head on the leg" of the mechanical lift. 

The resident began bleeding from her head, and despite being taken to the hospital by ambulance, died two days later from the head wound.

The problem, according to the report, was that the staff moving the resident were "unlicensed personnel," at least one of whom only received proper training for the mechanical lift "after the client’s death."

Investigators also found that said lift had not received proper maintenance prior to the incident, nor was there "a system in place to ensure the appropriate size sling" for moving patients. 

"The facility failed to adequately train staff, failed to determine the appropriate sling size, and failed to maintain the mechanical lift according to manufacturer’s recommendations," the report says.

The investigation, which was unannounced, was conducted under the Minnesota Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults Act.

It's not yet clear what penalties or consequences Goldpine could face as a result of the findings.

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