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Tom Sharon
Check, review, insider tips on how to prevent falls


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How to Prevent Falling and Other Mishaps

  * Review the checklist of risk factors (see "Identifying Those at Risk") as soon as you have arrived at the hospital.
  * If you have identified that you or your loved one is at risk of falling, speak to the admitting nurse and get agreement as to the level of risk that exists (low, moderate, or high).
  * Review the fall prevention protocol or care plan with the admitting nurse (see "How to Prevent Falls and Injuries").

  * Check the room and the patient each time you visit, and immediately report any deviations from the protocol, such as side rails down, call bell not in reach, and so on.
  * If your loved one is agitated or confused, make sure that the patient is never left alone. Insist on one-to-one service (a nurse's aide at the bedside at all times).
  * If your loved one is in restraints, make certain that the nurses are documenting the release of each limb as required.
  * Maximize surveillance:
    - Stay with your loved one as much as possible.
    - Request transfer to a bed as near to the nurses' station as possible.
    - Request video surveillance if available.

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