Falls Inside Hospitals Are Becoming a Big Problem
When we think of ways that people get injured while in the hospital, our attention is drawn to medical malpractice. We are concerned whether medical staff are missing anything important, or whether they are making the right decisions as to our care. We often don’t give much thought to the threat of falls inside hospitals.
Falls Increasing Inside Hospitals
A recent news article highlights the rising number of falls that occur inside hospitals. Contrary to popular belief, although the elderly have a large occurrence of falls – one in four fall victims are older than 65. A University of Florida study found that people in their 50s were more likely to be victims of a fall.
Hospital falls can be more dangerous than those that happen outside of hospitals. Patients may not be in any condition to brace themselves for falls, or to take evasive measures to cushion falls. Many patients’ weakened physical state may make them more likely to suffer a more severe injury than they otherwise might have if healthy.
Why Hospital Falls Happen
Further study is being done to determine why so many people of late middle ages continue to fall in hospitals. Certainly, the condition of patients is an important factor. Also, patients’ unfamiliarity with their surroundings may contribute to the problem.
There may be instances of bravado in younger patients who may overestimate their condition, leading them to try to be more mobile and physically independent than they should be.
Understaffed hospitals also play a role. Patients who feel that their immediate needs are not being attended may get up from their beds and seek nursing help, or try to go places (such as the bathroom) that they should not without assistance.
What Hospitals Are Doing to Correct Falls on their Premises
Some of the ways that hospitals are working to diminish falls on its premises are obvious: hiring more staff, routine bed checks, and making sure patient rooms and hallways are safe and clutter free.
Many hospitals place colored armbands on patients who are at risk of falling. This alerts staff to return the patient to his or her bed, or provide immediate assistance to the patient, if detected, taking an unauthorized “stroll” in the hallways.
Hospitals also are becoming aware of the importance of keeping patients occupied and entertained. A bored patient is more likely to roam.
For patients who are serious fall risks, bed alarms alert nursing staff when someone has gotten out of bed. With a quick enough alarm, staff can attend to someone before he or she gets too far.
If you have suffered injuries from a fall, act fast. The West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Celeste Law Firm can assist you in recovering the compensation that you deserve.