Patient Safety & Quality: Fall Precautions

Falls are the leading cause of injury to patients in hospitals. The primary goal of healthcare workers at MMC is to identify patients at risk to fall and keep them safe from harm.

Q: Why am I on Fall Precautions?
A: Every patient admitted to MMC is assessed by a nurse. Your nurse determined that placing you on Fall Precautions would keep you safe from harm during your hospitalization.

Q: What increases my risk of falling?
A: There are many reasons why patients are at risk to fall in a hospital.

These reasons may include:

  • Poor vision or hearing
  • Difficulty with balance, walking or foot problems
  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Use of multiple medications or certain medications for sedation, pain, sleep, or blood pressure control
  • Environmental hazards such as wet floors, IV tubing, oxygen tubing, catheters, phone cords, or clutter in your room
  • Procedures or surgery that affect your balance or ability to walk

Q: What can I expect?
A: When you are placed on Fall Precautions, you can expect to see an apple on the door frame of your room.

You can also expect that staff will use bed and chair alarms to help us keep watch over you. This equipment will be used when staff is not in the room, even if you have family or other visitors in the room.

Staff will be sure that your call bell and personal items are within reach before they leave the room.

Did you know that the most falls occur when patients try to get to the bathroom without assistance?

Q: What can I do to decrease my fall risk?

  • Never get up without staff assistance - "Call before you fall"
  • Wear safe shoes or non-skid slippers when out of bed
  • Tell staff about your daily routine and bathroom habits

Q: What can family/visitors do to decrease the patient's risk of falls?

  • Bring in glasses, hearing aids, and safe shoes
  • Share with staff any history of falls, confusion or if you notice new confusion/dizziness.
  • Suggest ways to keep the patient safe.
  • Call a staff member to the room if the patient needs repositioning or assistance to the bathroom - do not assist the patient yourself
  • Do not turn off the bed or chair alarm

Home Safety
MMC also wants you to be safe at home as your chances of falling are high during the first month home from the hospital

What Else Should I know?
Talk with your nurse, your home care provider or your doctor about ways to prevent falls at home. There are many things that can be done to keep you safe.

pending time with your loved one in the hospital can help decrease falls.

MidState Medical Center