Patient Safety & Fall Prevention
We want to protect you from falling in the hospital. Accidental falls are as upsetting to the hospital as they are to the patient and family. Some falls, such as those associated with acute illness or therapy, may be unavoidable. Most falls, however, can be prevented, but we need your help. Please read the following information carefully to see how you, your family and friends can greatly reduce your risk of falling in the hospital.
Some possible causes of falls:
- Being ill can make you unsteady on your feet.
- Medication such as tranquilizers, pain relievers, diuretics (water pills), sleeping pills and others can make you feel weak or dizzy.
- Enemas, laxatives, long periods of time without food or certain tests your doctor has ordered may leave you weak.
- The hospital may seem strange and unfamiliar to you, especially when you wake up at night.
Some ways to prevent a hospital fall:
- Always follow your doctor’s and nurse’s instructions regarding whether you must stay in bed or call for assistance when you need to get up, etc.
- Even if you have no activity restrictions, if you feel weak or dizzy as you get out of bed, sit back down and call the nurse, if you become weak or dizzy in the bathroom, pull the emergency cord to signal the nurse that you need help. Remember, you are more likely to faint or feel dizzy after sitting or lying for a long time. Also, after you have had a strong pain reliever, tranquilizer, or sleeping pill, you may feel dizzy.
- Remain lying or seated while waiting for assistance. We know that minutes may seem like hours, but please be patient: someone will come as soon as possible. If you are having to go to the bathroom frequently, call before your need becomes urgent, if possible, to give us time to respond.
- Make sure you wear non-skid slippers anytime you walk in the hospital; rubber or crepe-soled are the best. Please beware of over-long housecoats or nightgowns – you could trip over them.
- Please do not attempt to get up by yourself, if you cam into the hospital with extreme weakness, dizziness, or as a result of fall at home or elsewhere, unless you are told otherwise by the doctor or nurse.
Note: We are concerned for patient safety. Because hospital staff cannot remain constantly at a patient’s side, we may request a family member to stay with the patient or that arrangements be made for a private duty nurse or sitter to stay with the patient.