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Fall prevention has to be a priority in hospitals

Patients in hospitals sometimes have a risk of falling. There are many reasons why this might happen. Medical conditions, medications and similar factors can all mean that a person is unsteady on their feet. So how do hospitals handle people with an increased risk of falling?

One of the primary things that must be done is that the person must be clearly identified as a fall risk. Making notations in the chart and putting a bracelet on the person lets hospital employees know about the problem before something tragic happens.

In many cases, a person who is a fall risk will need to have help with getting out of the bed. This means that even going to the restroom will require someone to help hold the person steady.

It also means that hospital staff members need to pay close attention to these individuals during the day and night. Waiting too long to help a patient who is a fall risk get to the restroom could lead the person to try to walk their on their own, which could lead to them falling.

If a hospital is negligent with patients who are at risk of falling, serious injuries can occur. A patient who falls can suffer a hit to the head or a broken bone. For some, these are catastrophic injuries that can be devastating.

Those injuries and the fact that the patient was allowed to fall could also lead to a medical claim for hospital negligence. While that claim won't help the person heal, it might help to reduce the financial impact of the accident.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, "Preventing Falls in Hospitals," accessed Feb. 23, 2018

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