09:57 13 June 2013
According to a report, there were about 209,000 falls in hospitals in England in 2012 that resulted in serious injuries and even death. One of the reasons is because many elderly patients hesitated to press the call button to get help in going to the bathroom because they didn’t want to cause any trouble.
Health watchdog NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – has released new guidelines to address the problem and to encourage elderly patients to use the bedside calling system.
NICE encouraged doctors and nurses to consider patients who are over 65 to be at high risk of falling over. The same should be done for patients who are suffering from dementia or have vision or hearing problems.
In addition, the doctors and nurses are encouraged to create plans to reduce the risk of each patient from falling over. For example, they can adjust the patient’s medication, offer alternative footwear, or simply help them go to the bathroom.
Mark Baker, of the centre for clinical practice at NICE, said, as quoted by the MailOnline: “Falling over is a serious problem in hospitals, and unfortunately their likelihood increases with age as people become frailer.
“They can cause distress, pain, injury, a loss of confidence and independence, and in some cases, death.
“While it would be virtually impossible to prevent all hospital falls from happening, our guideline calls for doctors and nurses to address the issues that will reduce the risk of their patients suffering avoidable harm. No two patients are the same and so a “one size fits all” approach will not work.”
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