Personal Injury

Faulty mechanical lift blamed for nursing home resident death

The Ontario, Canada coroner’s office blames a malfunctioning lifting device for the death of a 67-year-old Toronto nursing home resident, according to The (Toronto) Star.

The LIKO 102EE mechanically lifting device is used to transfer people with limited mobility from a bed to a wheelchair. LIKO lifts are widely used in Canada and the United States. To date, there have been 12 reports of the LIKO lifts malfunctioning in the U.S. since 2005.

The deceased, Wally Baker, was a resident of Leisureworld Caregiving Centre (O’Connor Gate) in Toronto. He had fallen from the lift at the nursing home on April 30, 2008, and was pronounced dead four hours later after being transferred to a hospital.

Coroner Jim Edwards concluded that nursing home staff did not contribute to the malfunction of the lift, which authorities say should have been authorized by the company’s distributor. Edwards also recommended the lifts be removed from nursing homes until the manufacturer can identify and correct the problem.

Injuries from mechanical lifts are among the most occurring for both patients and caregiver. Caregivers and nursing home staff who use lifts should be thoroughly trained before using them.