After an operation, it’s common to experience a daze for some time. This disorienting feeling could make the simple act of walking or standing dangerous. Ideally, someone should constantly be monitoring you after an operation, but hospital shortcomings could mean fewer resources for effective fall prevention measures. While it is the responsibility of hospitals to maintain a risk-free environment for their patients, you can also take steps to protect yourself.

What you can do

The lingering confusion or dizziness after surgery makes fall prevention more important. If you lose your footing for even a second, you may suffer a painful fall that could endanger your life or set back your recovery. It may result in internal bleeding, fractures, severe cuts and concussions.

While you are still lucid, you may consider talking to your nurse about a fall prevention plan. They will assess your risk of falling after surgery and provide strategies for preventing an accident. Additionally, you may be prescribed physical therapy to help you regain mobility.

Even so, it’s important to take things slowly after an operation. There is no need to force yourself to do anything, as it might make things even worse for you.

In addition, even though you feel fine, your body may still be weak or exhausted from the procedure. You may fall down if you try to move or stand up too quickly without support. Don’t be shy about asking for help if you need to use restrooms or go anywhere in the hospital.

Are hospitals liable if you fall?

Hospitals must protect patients at all times. Incidents like falls should not even happen. However, inadequate staffing, lack of training or poor fall prevention strategies could endanger patients.

Following an operation, it’s likely that you won’t be able to stand or walk around on your own safely, at least for a while. It is the hospital’s responsibility to keep you safe, especially given your condition. If you suffer a terrible fall and incur injuries due to inadequate supervision from understaffing or other issues, it may be possible to hold the facility accountable for medical malpractice.

Nobody wants to experience the pain and suffering that result from a slip and fall. If you can take steps to lower your risk, you should do so. However, if you get into an accident the hospital could have prevented, it may be time to explore your legal options.