Falls can be a serious problem in the hospital. Factors that increase the risk of falls include:
Hospital staff often do not see patients fall. But falls require attention right away to lessen the risk of injury.
If you are with a patient when he or she begins to fall:
Stay with the patient and call for help.
If the patient is confused, shaking, or shows signs of weakness, pain, or dizziness:
Once medical staff decides the patient can be moved, you need to choose the best way.
Watch the patient closely after the fall. You may need to check the person's alertness, blood pressure and pulse, and possibly blood sugar.
Document the fall according to your hospital's policies.
Rubenstein LZ, Dillard D. Falls. In: Ham RJ, Sloane PD, Warshaw GA, Bernard MA, Potter JF, Flaherty E, eds. Primary Care Geriatrics: A Case-Based Approach. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 20.
Updated by: Diane M. Horowitz, MD, Rheumatologist and Continuing Medical Education Director, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, Great Neck, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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