How Common Are Falls in the Emergency Room?May 22nd, 2017
Hospital administrators and staff have an obligation to provide a safe environment for their patients from the moment they enter the premises. This includes identifying patients who are at risk of falling and taking measures to prevent them from doing so.
Falls can have devastating consequences, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, sick, and injured. According to the National Council on Aging, an older adult dies from fall-related injuries every 19 minutes.
If you fell at a healthcare facility and sustained serious injuries as a result, you may be able to file a claim for the damages you incurred. If you would like to find out if you have a valid case, turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm
David A. Bowling will assess your situation and help you file a claim for medical bills, lost wages, and non-economic damages. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney in Baton Rouge.
How Common Are Falls in the Emergency Room?
Falls in healthcare facilities should be fairly rare occurrences, but they are far more common than most people realize. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, between 70,000 and 100,000 people fall in hospitals across the country annually. Researchers estimate that nearly one-third of these falls are preventable.
A fall can result in internal bleeding, fractures, lacerations, and other serious injuries. Although many hospitals implement fall risk assessment strategies, AHC Media reports that these tools often take too long to complete during the triage process.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Emergency Room Falls?
Emergency room falls can happen for a variety of reasons. Common factors that increase the risk of a fall include:
Poor communication between the patient and staff or the staff and other providers;
Physical hazards in the emergency room;
Inadequate staffing, training, or supervision;
A failure to abide by fall assessment protocols and safety practices; and
An inadequate risk assessment of the patient.
How Can Emergency Departments Reduce Their Fall Risk?
Research indicates that one effective way to prevent serious falls in the emergency room is by conducting a streamlined risk assessment at triage. Hospital staff should implement a procedure to identify an incoming patient’s risk factors and then develop a custom care plan to mitigate the fall risk in cases where it is high.
Every care plan should include standard protocol for communicating the patient’s fall risk to all staff who will provide care. It should also detail emergency procedures in case a fall should occur.
If you or a loved one fell in a healthcare facility and suffered serious injuries as a result, your family may be able to sue the hospital for negligence. To discuss your chances of securing compensation with experienced legal counsel, turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm.