Every year, somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people in the U.S. experience a fall in a hospital.  Upwards of 1,000 patient falls happen every day with approximately 30% of those falls resulting in injuries.  Falls often cause serious injuries, leaving patients paralyzed or with traumatic brain injuries.
Causes of Hospital Falls?
Many hospital patients are not equipped to fully take care of themselves. They may be recovering from surgery and under the effects of anesthesia. Since patients are in the hospital, often in a fragile state, it is the hospital’s responsibility to protect them. The most unfortunate factor is that most hospital falls can be prevented. There are numerous risk factors that contribute to these falls, including:
- Fall risk patients who are not properly cared for
- Nurse shortages
- Slippery floors
- Fall hazards on patient floors
- Poor lighting, especially at night near patient restrooms
- Equipment in rooms and hallways in the patient’s walkway
- Being allowed to walk unassisted when weak from illness, surgery or blood loss
Steps Hospitals Must Take
Nurses, doctors and healthcare providers must evaluate each patient carefully for the risk of falling, and to react accordingly. Nurses should make rounds assessing patients throughout the day and night. Diuretics should be reduced at night time to avoid evening trips to the restrooms. Fall often occur on the way to or in the restroom. Other measures should be taken including removal of trip hazards, lowering the beds or providing cushioning on the floor around the bed. Also, simple steps such as bed pans and urinals can be provided if the patient’s conditions warrant such intervention.
Many hospital falls are preventable with proper care. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a fall inside a hospital, Chelsie King Garza can help. With experience obtaining compensation for families suffering this same injury, Chelsie King Garza is ready and able to fight for you.