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Why do patients fall in hospitals?

When you go to the hospital, you expect to receive expert care, not to incur another injury. Sometimes, though, you may fall during your stay and these incidents can be hazardous.

Hospital staff members usually classify falls into three groups.

Anticipated physiological falls

According to American Nurse Journal, this kind of fall usually happens because of the symptoms a patient experiences. Some patients may experience dizziness as a side effect of a medication, for example. Underlying medical conditions may also place patients at a greater risk of falling. In this situation, hospital staff members have to assess whether a fall is likely and put precautions in place to prevent one.

Unanticipated physiological falls

These falls also occur because of a patient’s medical condition. However, these symptoms are usually not diagnosed by the hospital staff. Patients may experience side effects that the hospital staff was not expecting, such as seizures, and these side effects may cause them to fall. In this situation, the hospital staff may not have taken steps to prevent these incidents because they did not know that the patient was at risk of falling.

Accidental falls

These incidents occur because of potential hazards inside the hospital. Patients may slip if staff members do not clean up spills. They may also trip if boxes or medical carts obstruct walkways. Additionally, patients may be more likely to fall if they wear slippery shoes. Patients may also fall out of their beds if they have to reach too far to access their call light.

Regardless of how it happens, a fall can have severe consequences for your health. You may incur serious injuries and need to spend more time in the hospital as you recover.