FALLS IN THE HOSPITAL: WHY SO MANY?
We hear complaints on a regular basis about hospital patients who are seriously injured due to falls.
I recently reviewed a case report from outside of Virginia where a 74 year old patient, with multiple health problems and a history of fainting, was admitted to her local hospital. The patient was appropriately assessed as a “fall risk.” One morning she notified the nurse of her need to go to the bathroom. The nurse assisted the patient to the bathroom doorway, then left the patient to turn on the light and open the bathroom door. The patient fell, striking the back of her head against a night stand, suffering a large hematoma to her left frontal lobe.
After the fall the patient’s health rapidly declined (including severe cognitive impairments) and she died 10 months later.
The nurse knew the patient was at risk for falls and should have never left her side. The hospital was successfully sued by the patient’s family.
I don’t know why these types of preventable tragedies occur over…and over…and over. Maybe hospitals need to hire more nurses so patients can receive the care they deserve.
Have you or your family experienced similar falls in the following local hospitals?
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, Danville Regional Medical Center, Stonewall Jackson Hospital, Carilion New River Valley Hospital, Montgomery Regional Hospital, Wellmont Bristol Regional Hospital, Carilion Giles Memorial Hospital, Alleghany Regional Hospital, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, Tazewell Community Hospital, and Lewis-Gale Medical Center.