The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1,800 people living in nursing homes die due to fall-related injuries every year. On average, a nursing home with 100 beds reports 100 to 200 falls each and every year. The CDC believes that many falls go unreported.
Falls can cause serious injuries. In fact, 2 to 6% of falls result in a fracture.
Causes of nursing home falls:
- Muscle weakness – 24%
- Environmental hazards such as wet floors, poor lighting, improper bed height and improperly fitted or maintained wheel chairs – 16-27%
- Medications – sedatives or anxiety drugs can increase fall risk
- Moving from bed to chair
- Poor foot care
- Improper shoe fit
- Incorrect use of walking aids
Nursing homes have a responsibility to care for the elderly patients under their care. Fall prevention interventions include assessing patients and their risk factors; staff education; implementing bed alarms in the rooms of at-risk patients; providing hip pads to at-risk patients; insuring a proper physical environment for patients including properly fitted grab bars, handrails, toilet height and proper lighting.
In the past, nursing home routinely restrained patients. However, studies found that restraining patients lead to reduced physical functions and muscle weakness. Since Federal Regulation prohibited the routine use of restraints, fall-related injuries actually reduced.
Some successful nursing home negligence cases have included a case where employees turned off a bed alarm, a case where a patient was dropped when being transferred from bed-to-chair and a case where there were hazards in the hallway.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney Blog a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured due to nursing home abuse and neglect. Signs of nursing home neglect can include falls, bedsores and abuse.
Fall prevention in nursing homes is every one’s business
Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.
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