Preventing Patient Falls: Identifying Common Risk Factors
Patient falls are one of the most challenging risks in the healthcare industry. They can lead to severe injuries, prolonged hospital stays, and even fatalities. Although falls happen for various reasons, healthcare providers must identify the underlying risk factors to minimize the likelihood of falls. This blog post delves into the three most common risk factors associated with patient falls.
Statistics show that falls are more prevalent among the elderly, particularly those above 65 years old. As we age, our reflexes, balance, and vision begin to deteriorate, making us more susceptible to falls. Additionally, older adults are more likely to have chronic health problems that can cause weakness, confusion, and unstable movements.
To prevent falls among older adults, healthcare providers must conduct fall risk assessments and develop personalized care plans that address their specific needs. The care plan may include enhancing their mobility through exercises, reducing medication side effects, and modifying the environment to minimize hazards.
Medications can also increase the likelihood of falls, especially for patients taking multiple drugs or those with medication-related side effects. Some medications, such as sedatives, antidepressants, and antipsychotics, can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision, impairing the patient's physical and cognitive abilities. Patients taking diuretics may also experience dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, leading to weakness and fatigue.
To reduce the risk of falls due to medication, healthcare providers must review the patient's medication history and adjust their dosage or regimen as necessary. They should also educate patients and caregivers on the proper use of medication and warning signs of adverse effects.
The physical environment plays a significant role in the occurrence of patient falls. Hazards such as slippery floors, cluttered surfaces, and inadequate lighting can increase the likelihood of trips and slips. Patients with mobility limitations, such as those using wheelchairs or walkers, may find it challenging to navigate narrow doorways, stairs, and uneven surfaces.
To minimize environmental hazards, healthcare providers must conduct environmental assessments and implement practical solutions. They may install grab bars and handrails, install slip-resistant flooring, improve lighting conditions, and eliminate cluttered spaces.
How Can I Help Prevent Falls?
It is also recommended to have the right transfer assisting device when needed. Mobile Patientlift offers a wide variety of transfer products to help patients manually or mechanically move from one place to another. One of our most popular patient lifts is the the Freedom Patient Lift, which provides maximum support and stability for the patient, reducing the risk of falls during transfers from beds, wheelchairs, or other surfaces. This device is also an excellent choice for caregivers who need to lift and transfer heavy or immobile patients, as it eliminates the risk of back injury, strain, or fatigue. By using the Freedom Patient Lift, caregivers can ensure the safety and comfort of their patients while promoting greater independence and mobility.
What Can I Do After a Fall?
When an elderly person falls, a caregiver must provide immediate assistance to prevent further injury or complications. The caregiver should first assess the severity of the situation and provide reassurance that help is on the way. They should also help the person move to a safe place, provide first aid when necessary, and notify emergency services or family members. Once the immediate concerns have been addressed, the caregiver should work to prevent future falls by addressing safety concerns such as removing potential hazards in the home and enhancing mobility aids and rehabilitation exercises to maintain strength and balance. By following these steps, a caregiver can provide critical care and support for an elderly person who has suffered a fall.
How the HelpUp Patient Lift Can Help?
The HelpUp Patient Lift is a valuable tool that caregivers can use to assist elderly patients after a fall. The Help Up was designed with Airlift Technology, to provide a safe and comfortable solution to help lift loved ones off the floor after a fall. This innovative patient floor lift is quickly positioned under the patient and inflated to properly lift them back up to a standing position; all while keeping them secure and stable. It’s powerful enough to support up to 300 lbs. of weight, plus its lightweight design (just 23 lbs.)
As caregivers, it is essential to remain vigilant and prioritize patient safety by conducting fall risk assessments, monitoring medication use, and creating a safe environment for patients. By implementing these preventative measures, we can ensure a safe and healthy healthcare environment for all patients.
Contact us to find out more about the transfer assist devices offered by Mobile Patientlift, our team of experts is here to help!