Fall Prevention in Hospitals

As a hospital patient, your condition and the treatments you receive can increase your risk for falls. Some additional risk factors for falls in a hospital include:

  • Being in an unfamiliar environment.

  • Being on bed rest.

  • Your surgery.

  • Taking certain medicines.

  • Your tubing requirements, such as intravenous (IV) therapy or catheters.

It is important that you learn how to decrease fall risks while at the hospital. Below are important tips that can help prevent falls.

SAFETY TIPS FOR PREVENTING FALLS

Talk about your risk of falling.

  • Ask your caregiver why you are at risk for falling. Is it your medicine, illness, tubing placement, or something else?

  • Make a plan with your caregiver to keep you safe from falls.

  • Ask your caregiver or pharmacist about side effect of your medicines. Some medicines can make you dizzy or affect your coordination.

Ask for help.

  • Ask for help before getting out of bed. You may need to press your call button.

  • Ask for assistance in getting you safely to the toilet.

  • Ask for a walker or cane to be put at your bedside. Ask that most of the side rails on your bed be placed up before your caregiver leaves the room.

  • Ask family or friends to sit with you.

  • Ask for things that are out of your reach, such as your glasses, hearing aids, telephone, bedside table, or call button.

Follow these tips to avoid falling:

  • Stay lying or seated, rather than standing, while waiting for help.

  • Wear rubber-soled slippers or shoes whenever you walk in the hospital.

  • Avoid quick, sudden movements.

  • Change positions slowly.

  • Sit on the side of your bed before standing.

  • Stand up slowly and wait before you start to walk.

  • Let your caregiver know if there is a spill on the floor.

  • Pay careful attention to the medical equipment, electrical cords, and tubes around you.

  • When you need help, use your call button by your bed or in the bathroom. Wait for one of your caregivers to help you.

  • If you feel dizzy or unsure of your footing, return to bed and wait for assistance.

  • Avoid being distracted by the TV, telephone, or another person in your room.

  • Do not lean or support yourself on rolling objects, such as IV poles or bedside tables.