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Brain Injury and Falls in Hospitals and Nursing Homes

One of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury are falls to patients in hospitals and nursing homes.  Fortunately, many of these falls are preventable if proper safeguards are implemented.

The latest issue of the Journal, Geriatrics discusses new guidelines for the prevention of falls in medical facilities. 

Recommendations contained in the new guidelines include:

  • proper assessment of the individual to determine if they are at a high risk of falling and taking appropriate steps to properly monitor them.  Individuals at heightened risk include those older than 75 years, those suffering from cognitive impairments, those suffering from diabetes, Parkinson's's disease or other neurological impairments, those with gait, visual or balance impairments. 
  • review of patient medication records.  Certain high risk medications which increase the risk of falls are psychotropic agents, antidepressants and anticoagulants
  • examination of external risk factors including slippery floors, poor illumination, absence of grab bars, items on the floor and the placement of Foley catheters.

Some recommended general safety precautions include the use of low-rise beds, floor mats to enhance traction, easy access to a call light, regular toileting at set intervals and targeting of patients at risk.

It is unfortunate that these falls occur and are a considerable cause of brain damage, orthopedic injuries and other problems.  Proper precautions can prevent these accidents from happening.  The New York brain injury law firm of  De Caro & Kaplen, LLP can assist you if your loved one has sustained a preventable fall injury in a hospital or nursing home.

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