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Patients May Be at Risk for Fall Injuries in Hospitals

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San Jose hospital fall injury lawyerAn estimated 700,000 to 1,000,000 patients in the U.S. fall each year while in the hospital. Although these patients may check in to a medical facility for any number of reasons, these falls account for additional injuries and medical expenses related to fractures, lacerations, head trauma, and internal bleeding. What is more concerning is that a significant number of these falls are preventable. Here are a few tips to help reduce hospital injuries from falls:

What Patients Can Do

Patients should take steps to reduce the risk of falling. While it may be difficult to be confined to a bed, to prevent further injury, it is essential to ask for help when necessary. Many patients undergo extensive surgery and must allow their body enough time to recover before attempting to return to daily activities. While admitted, patients should:

  • Locate and use the call button when they need help.
  • Ask for assistance using the restroom.
  • Consider using a bedside commode or urinal to shorten walking distance.
  • Wear non-slip footwear.
  • Use a walker or cane for support.
  • Do not use bedside tables and other movable items for ambulatory assistance.
  • Ask the medical staff to place call lights and other necessities within reach before leaving the room.
  • Communicate safety concerns with the hospital staff.

Doctor and Nurse Requirements

Doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff have a large number of patients that require their care each day. Some require special personal protective equipment, such as gloves, glasses, and gowns to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Others require constant mobility assistance. Among hospital personnel, it is everyone’s duty to meet the needs of each patient to the best of their ability. To prevent patient falls, hospital staff should take additional steps, such as:

  • Initiate a protocol to quickly identify fall risk patients.
  • Provide safety companions for constant care to disoriented patients who are unable to follow direction.
  • Keep patients busy to make sure they stay in bed.
  • Set bed alarms to alert the nurses' station when a patient has left their bed.
  • Perform additional rounds to ensure all safety protocols are in place and functioning correctly.

If doctors, nurses, or other personnel do not follow the necessary procedures to protect patients’ safety, this may be considered negligence, and injured patients may be able to hold the hospital liable for injuries that occur.

Contact a Santa Clara County Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury after falling in the hospital, you may be eligible for financial compensation for your damages. It is the duty of the hospital to have safety protocols in place to prevent falls, and the hospital staff are responsible for upholding those standards. Contact a San Jose medical malpractice lawyer today to discuss the details of your injuries. At Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., we offer a free consultation to review the details of your claim and provide you with realistic expectations of compensation. Call us today at 408-289-1417.

Sources:

https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/fallpxtoolkit/index.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/10/16/235440197/to-reduce-patient-falls-hospitals-try-alarms-more-nurses

https://www.allinahealth.org/Customer-Service/Be-prepared/For-your-hospital-stay/10-tips-to-prevent-falls-while-you-are-in-the-hospital/

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/5-proven-strategies-to-prevent-patient-falls.html

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