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Fall Prevention

When you are in the hospital, it is especially important to be careful not to have a fall. The hospital is an unfamiliar place, so you may not be as independent as you would be at home.

Who is at Risk for Falling

When you are admitted to the hospital, and throughout your stay, your nurse will determine if you are at risk for falling. Your risk for falling may be temporary or transient. For example, if you have had surgery, the anesthesia which was used during your operation may cause you to be less steady on your feet for up to 48 hours. You may be at risk for falling if you:

Have a history of falling
Have a history of fainting, seizures, high blood pressure or arthritis
Have incontinence, or are taking medications which cause incontinence, such as laxatives
Use a walker, crutches or have difficulty walking or keeping your balance
Have just had an operation, as the medications you received may make you unsteady on your feet
Have feelings of confusion or disorientation about where you are
Are taking four or more different medications
Are taking medication to help you sleep or relax
Have difficulty with vision or hearing
Have an altered sleep pattern

How We Keep You Safe

If you have a fall risk, we will take steps to keep you safe. We use "Fall Risk" signs and stickers to identify those for whom precaution is recommended.

Our staff is trained to safely assist you while getting out of bed. We also use precautions such as keeping your bed rails up, keeping the bed in a low position with the brakes on, or using a bed or chair alert. Your safety is very important to us.

Tips to Prevent Falls

Use non-skid slippers at all times.
Keep your call light and phone close so you do not have to reach to get them.
Leave your door open so we can check on you.
Call the nurse before getting out of bed, especially if you have received pain medications or sleeping pills.
Watch out for tubes, cords and stands that may be beside the bed.
Tell the nurse about anything that might cause a fall, such as spills and clutter.
Tell the nurse if you need more light in the room (nightlights, etc.).
Please do not use the rolling bedside table to support yourself.
Use assistive devices (walker, cane) as instructed.
Never climb over the bed rails.
If you can safely exit the bed, be careful not to slide off the mattress, and make sure you are firmly on your feet before moving forward.
Ask for assistance. If your doctor has asked that you only get out of bed with assistance, please do not try to get up on your own. Please know that the staff is never bothered to help you. Our primary goal is to keep you safe.
Have a family member or friend sit with you during your stay. He or she can get assistance for you. Please have friends and family notify the nurse when they are leaving.

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