The number one cause of patient injuries at hospitals is falling. Patients who fall in hospitals can be left with serious injury, including traumatic brain injury which can lead to death. In 2012, for example, a 90-year-old female patient fell at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, hitting her head on the metal sill of a closet.
Though she seemed fine at first, complaining only of back pain, she was unresponsive and vomiting 30 minutes later. The patient never regained responsiveness and died before the day was over.
Common Causes of Falls in Hospitals
Sadly, most hospital falls can be prevented. The most frequent causes of hospital falls includes:
- Nurse and staff shortages
- Slippery floors and surfaces
- Inefficient work environments
- Poorly lit or obstructed views
Hospitals across the country are going to great measures to avoid inpatient falls by implementing aggressive fall prevention programs.
Many US hospitals, including Fairview Hospital, are being more attentive to patients who they have identified as high-risk for falling. High-risk for falling patients in these hospitals wear bright colored socks and blankets, and special alarms are installed in their rooms to alert hospital staff if the patient is trying to get out of bed.
Even with the assertive preventative measures that hospitals have implemented within the past few years, it has been suggested that their methods of identifying patients as high-risk for falling may be inaccurate. Patients may be considered as high-risk for falling simply because of their age, but there are many other reasons that patients should be considered high-risk.
Any patients with altered mobility or ineffective gait, patients who are on multiple drugs, or patients that have just come out of surgery or have lost a lot of blood are also at high-risk of falling, no matter their age.
Have You Been Injured in a Hospital Fall?
Hospitals have a duty to protect their patients, and failure to do so can be considered medical negligence. If falling at a hospital has injured you or a family member, it is imperative that you contact an Arizona medical negligence attorney to discuss your case.
At JacksonWhite Law, our personal injury team, led by Jared Everton, can work to win you awards for your damages. We know how frustrating a hospital injury can be, so we take every effort to ensure a positive, successful experience.
Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.