Falling: A hospital risk you didn’t expect

Hospitals are a place to treat your injuries and illness, not suffer further harm. Unfortunately, the lack of fall prevention in many facilities endangers 100,000 to a million inpatients every year. In addition, suffering a fall during your stay as an inpatient could cause severe injuries and delay your recovery.

Strict protocols and policies help hospitals maintain a safe environment for all patients, visitors and employees. The hospital staff and employees’ failure to abide by standard practices could be evidence of negligence and grounds to pursue a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit.

The alarming need for fall prevention in hospitals

Elderly patients, those recovering from surgery and those under medication are particularly vulnerable to falling. They might feel dizzy, struggle with balance, lose consciousness or have trouble moving around, leading to falls.

Hospitals understand these dangers. It is the reason why they must assess each patient’s fall risk. If necessary, assign a staff member to monitor those who need assistance closely, use bed alarms to alert nurses when high-risk patients try to get up on their own and use other fall prevention methods.

Despite these stringent measures, inconsistencies in enforcement or practice still happen, leading to an alarming number of in-patient falls. Even more worrying is how one-third of falls in hospitals lead to an injury, some of which are disabling or life-threatening, such as broken bones, fractures, head trauma and even death.

What to do if you fall while in the hospital

Hospitals are obligated to maintain a safe environment to avoid causing harm to patients and visitors. Apart from implementing various fall prevention mechanisms, they must address any risks within the premises, such as spilled liquids, inadequate lighting and uneven flooring.

If you’re injured after a fall in the hospital, you may be eligible to receive compensation. However, you must prove that the hospital knew about the safety risks and did nothing to address them, resulting in your injuries.

Taking on a hospital is a huge undertaking. These corporations will fight tooth and nail to protect their reputation. However, you also deserve compensation for your hardship. After an accident, consider talking to a lawyer to determine whether you have a viable case and to receive guidance on the process.