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Preventing falls in hospital

Preventing Falls In Hospital

  • Please tell the nurse or doctor caring for you, if you have fallen in the last year, you’re worried about falling or you have fallen whilst in hospital
  • You will be assessed by a member of the nursing team and/or medical team. They may need to ask some questions, particularly if nobody saw you fall
  • If they suspect that you have injured yourself, they may need to use specialist equipment (Page 4) to get you off the ground safely
  • If there is a concern that you may have hit your head or broken a bone, we will need to monitor you regularly and you may need to have an X-Ray or a scan
  • We will complete an incident report and with your permission, let your next of kin know

Equipment we may use:

  • Walking aids such as walking stick, Zimmer frame or rollator frame
  • An aid to help you stand e.g. Sara Stedy – which helps you to stand from sitting
  • Sling hoist – A sling is secured underneath you and you are lifted using a machine, into a seated position and manoeuvered into a chair or onto a bed
  • Scoop hoist – This may be used if you have injured yourself as a result of a fall. This is positioned underneath you and you remain in a lying position. It enables staff to keep you very still and minimise the risk of further injury
  • Hoverjack – This is an inflatable piece of equipment that can be used in confined spaces. It is rolled underneath you, inflated and can then be pushed along the floor.
  • For patients who have been identified at high risk of falls we may use floor level beds and additional mats to reduce harm.

Causes of falls

  • Muscle weakness or balance problems
  • Problems with eyesight
  • Medical problems, such as low blood pressure, dementia, heart condition etc. These can all cause dizziness which may affect your balance and cause you to fall
  • Rushing and loosing balance
  • Reaching too far
  • Taking medication that can make you drowsy

Please use your call bell or alert a member of staff, if you are concerned that you may fall or need assistance when walking

How you can reduce your risk of fall

  • If you’re worried about being unsteady use your call bell to alert staff, before you get up
  • Wear well-fitting non-slip slippers or non-slip socks (we can provide the socks) when walking
  • Use your walking aid (if you need one)
  • We will do our best to make the bays and corridors clutter free, but be aware of equipment that may be in your way
  • Switch on your bed side light to help light your way
  • If you need glasses or usually wear a hearing aid, make sure your glasses are clean and your hearing aid is working and both are within your reach
  • Before standing sit on the edge of your bed for a couple of minutes, to make sure you don’t feel dizzy
  • If your chair or bed is too high, please let a member of staff know
  • If you’re worried about falls, please speak to a member of the nursing or therapy teams
  • Try to get out of bed, get dressed and move around with the advice of the ward staffs

Things we can do to reduce your risk of falls

  • Measure your lying and standing blood pressure, this will tell us if your blood pressure drops when you stand up. We will discuss with you how to manage this
  • Complete a falls risk assessment. This will give us an indication of the support you may need
  • We may need to use special equipment (page 4), but we will discuss this with you before we do
  • Review any medication that may cause you to have a fall
  • Provide you with simple bed exercises (speak to a physiotherapist) to maintain your muscle strength
  • For any patient who is mobile and confused we generally do not use bed rails. Using bed rails can lead to getting caught in the rails, bruising and in some cases a patient may try to climb over them and fall. 

 

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