Reducing Nursing Home and Hospital Falls to Prevent Patient Injury

Our Washington D.C. nursing home injury attorneys recently discussed the prevalence of falls in nursing homes and hospitals in a blog, and how to reduce the number of falls that can result in nursing home resident injury and wrongful death throughout the nation.

The CDC reports that over 1,800 residents die each year from falls in nursing homes. Injuries sustained from nursing homes and hospital falls can be frequent, debilitating, and expensive health care issues for elderly adults to face. As the CDC reports, finding ways to prevent fall-related injuries with elderly residents in nursing homes and hospitals is extremely important in preventing future injuries.

Elderly residents who are weak, have difficulty caring for themselves or have difficulty walking, are often prone to nursing home or hospital falls, along with patients who have chronic health conditions, or memory problems like Alzheimer’s or dementia.

According to Dr. Ronald I. Shorr, MD, in hospitals, there are generally two types of patients who fall: patients who are frail, and patients who don’t want to interrupt or bother the hospital staff. Hospital providers have reportedly found success in preventing falls by installing alarms, scheduling the administration of medication to prevent falls, redesigning rooms to have bathrooms closer to beds, and updating fall-risk assessments that are shared with healthcare teams and patients, while they are hospitalized and after they leave to return home. Shorr is reportedly in the middle of a study funded by the National Institute of Health on how to prevent falls.

The CDC recommends preventing nursing home falls by assessing each resident after a fall to address specific risk factors and medical conditions, by reviewing prescription drug medications to discuss potential risks with falling, and to ensure that nursing home and hospital environments provide a safe environment to residents who are prone to falling, with grab bars, raised toilet seats, handrails, lowered bed heights and hip padding, to prevent any nursing home injury if they do fall. The CDC also recommends eliminating bed rails or any physical restraints, and using new technology, as we reported in another recent blog, that featuring alarm devices that are triggered when a patients attempts to get out of bed without assistance.

In Washington D.C. and Maryland, contact our nursing home injury attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC today, for a free consultation.

Reducing In-Hospital Patient Falls, HealthLeaders Media, October 14, 2010
Maryland Program Provides Road Map for Reducing Patient Falls, HealthLeaders Media, May 21, 2010

Related Web Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Falls in Nursing Homes

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