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Horror details emerge after nursing home resident suffocated to death while being suspended upside down

A NURSING home resident suffocated to death after being trapped upside-down behind a grab bar that the facility installed without assessing the risk factors, a state investigation has revealed.

Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation Center in Wright County, Iowa, was placed under investigation by the state after the resident died in March, which included a visit to the facility last month.

2A nursing home resident was suffocated to death after being trapped upside downCredit: Getty 2Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation Center was placed under immediate-jeopardy status by the state of Iowa after the incidentCredit: Google

The resident was getting out of bed in the early hours of March 19 when they fell forward, according to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) report obtained by Iowa Capital Dispatch.

Their upper body then got trapped between the headboard and the grab bar, which they installed in June of 2021 allegedly without getting consent from the resident's family.

It took a few hours for a worker to find the resident suspended upside-down off the side of the bed.

The resident's head was resting on the floor and their feet were suspended in the air over the bed.

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Their face turned purple and black from the pooling of blood and rigor mortis, which is the stiffening of joints and muscles that happens a few hours after death, had already begun to set in, according to the inspectors.

A worker said the scene was a "horrible sight."

According to the medical examiner, the resident ultimately died from positional asphyxiation, which happens when someone's oxygen supply is cut off from the compression of their chest or because of the angle of their body.

A worker wanted to remove the bed from the resident's room a few days before the incident.

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They proposed placing a mattress on the floor for the resident to sleep on to address an increased risk of the resident falling out of bed.

However, the nursing home's interdisciplinary team rejected the idea.

The director of nursing later told inspectors that it wouldn't have been right to have the resident sleep on the floor "like a dog."

There is no evidence that the nursing home provided any other options to address the risk of the resident falling out of bed.

One official from the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission said in March that adult portable bedrails “have trapped and strangled older adults at alarming rates."

The commission estimated that between 2003 and 2019, almost 197,000 people were injured or killed by the devices.

DIA placed the facility under immediate-jeopardy status four and a half months after the resident's death and said it had been in this condition since May 19.

They then had all the beds evaluated by the maintenance director and administrator and the staff was trained on bed safety.

The DIA then lifted the immediate-jeopardy status on the facility.

However, the department does have a $10,000 fine against the nursing home held in suspension.

They are waiting to see if federal officials want to impose a fine of their own on the facility.

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The U.S. Sun reached out to the nursing home for comment, but none was received by the time of publication.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals was also contacted for the full report by The U.S. Sun, but hasn't responded as of yet.

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