Whenever a hospital knows that a given patient stands at risk for experiencing a fall, that same institution normally puts a “fall risk” sign on the patient’s door. Of course, members of a hospital staff will lack that useful information, if it has not been shared with the person that admitted the fall-prone patient. So, how do members of a hospital’s staff get alerted to the possibility that a given patient might indeed fall?
Steps to be taken during and just after admission of any patient
• Assess patient’s history: Does it contain mention of a falling incident in the past?
• Study other conditions mentioned in patient’s history: Did patient suffer episode of dizziness? Did patient ever lose his or her balance?
Equipment to place in room of patient that seems prone to falling
Bedrails keep the patient from falling out of bed. In the absence of bedrails, installation of a bed alert can serve as a wise precaution. Such alerts can detect the dangerous movements of a sleeping patient. When positioned properly, the alert’s signal gets triggered by interference with an invisible cord, one that has been created by a laser beam. That interference could signal a dangerous movement by a patient’s head, hand or foot, causing it to inch closer to the bed’s edge.
During the patients’ waking hours, a call bell proves useful. Naturally, staff members should try to respond as quickly as possible. The patient needs to be assured of that appearance, so that he or she does not try leaving the chair or bed.
The removal of certain objects is also a good idea. At night the patient’s pathway to the bathroom ought to remain free of any sort of obstruction. In addition, that same pathway needs to remain well-lighted. Moreover, patients can benefit from access to an emergency cord inside of the bathroom.
As indicated, it helps to put a sign on the patient’s door. Some hospitals and nursing homes benefit from the availability of volunteers. Still, such volunteers must be forewarned about any patient’s tendency to encounter problems, when trying to stand or walk, unaided. In addition, visitors ought to know about the behaviors of the patients in any room that they enter.
What actions should be taken if a patient does fall?
Once the patient has been returned to a safe location, those that witnessed the incident ought to get in a huddle. Each of them needs to aid an assessment of what took place; what precaution was lacking or ignored? In what way had the staff members’ care fallen below the expected level? While that assessment cannot correct someone’s mistake, it can work to reduce chances for recurrence of the recently-concluded event. Additionally, if you feel that a loved one has had an accident due to negligence, consulting with Injury Lawyer in Burlington can help.