Why patients keep falling down
In this day and age where people are supposedly worrying about more complex problems, the healthcare industry continues to be confounded by the big problem caused by a deceptively simple mishap: falls.
In fact, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asserts that over one-third of older adults, those aged 65 and up, fall to the ground each year. What’s more surprising is that falls happens as frequently in the clinical setting as much as outside the healthcare setting—this even with all the added protection of modern hospital equipment and the supervision of the medical team.
The following risk factors have been pointed out as the main reasons why patients continue to fall even in the guarded milieu of the hospital:
• Advanced age (60 years old)
• Impaired memory
• Generalized body malaise
• Use of assistive walking device such as canes and walker
• Medication use (particularly those taking four or more medications)
Researchers estimate that of the 500,000 falls that happen in hospitals each year, around 150,000 result to injuries. These injuries include bone fractures, excessive bleeding resulting to hemorrhage, and sometimes even death.
Many of the mentioned risk factors for falls can be prevented, if not totally modified through better equipment or more watchful care. It is the healthcare providers’ responsibility, therefore, to make sure that all patients are safe—away from the pain brought by hard floor impact.