Your fall risk may increase during hospitalization

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2021 | Firm News

If you need long-term care for a serious illness or injury, nurses at the hospital should evaluate your fall risk. If they determine you have an increased likelihood of slipping, tripping or falling, they should place a yellow bracelet on your wrist. This bracelet alerts all health care workers to your propensity to fall. 

Falls are a never event in hospitals. That is, there is no legitimate reason falls should ever occur in a hospital setting. Unfortunately, though, even if you are at low risk for a fall when you begin your stay, your risk may increase considerably during your hospitalization. 

Physical deterioration

Because of the inactivity that often accompanies hospital stays, your muscles may atrophy surprisingly quickly.  After even a few days in the hospital, you may simply not have the physical strength to support your body’s weight. 

Medication side effects

Dizziness, drowsiness, confusion and muscular weakness are common side effects of some medications. Before prescribing or administering these medications, your doctor should take steps to protect you from a medication-related fall. 

Environmental hazards

If you are only in the hospital for a day or two, your room may not undergo a deep cleaning. With longer stays, however, janitorial staff may mop the room to keep it sanitary. Put simply, if the floor is wet, you have some risk of slipping and falling. 

Ultimately, hospital staff is responsible for keeping you safe from environmental hazards. If routine cleaning puts you at risk of serious injury, nurses must monitor you until the risk passes or remove you from the hazardous situation.