Fall Prevention In Hospitals

A patient fall is defined as an unplanned descent to the floor with or without injury. Falls in hospitals are generally associated with a variety of factors including impaired mobility, cognitive impairment, dementia, incontinence, medication, static hypertension and environmental factors. All falls may result in an injury. These injuries vary from a slight bruise to fractures or bleeding. Australian hospitals experience many patients falls resulting in injury each year. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 40,000 separations were reported in 2017- for this reason, Fall-related injuries, are one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired morbidity and mortality in older Australians and often result in painful injuries to, bruising or lacerations. Some falls are far more serious resulting in fractures or internal bleeding.

Unfortunately for those patients, this will result in a longer hospital stay, on average 19 days. This not only has a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of the patient but a significant financial and resource cost to the hospital. Using the most recent, 2015 census information the average cost for an acute bed was $2074 a night. The additional cost for the extended stay will be closer to $39,000. There has been consistent evidence that shows most falls occur at the bedside or in the bathroom and are associated with mobilising or toileting. Most of these falls are unwitnessed and occur mostly during the day. Australian hospitals are governed by Best Practice guidelines and use a combination of strategies to help prevent falls.

Identifying some of the common risk factors will help strategize a prevention plan:

  • History of fall 
  • Limitations in mobility 
  • Impaired vision 
  • Impaired balance 
  • Cognitive impairment 
  • Reduce muscle tone 
  • Poor reaction time 
  • Effects of medication 

At an individual level, a  risk assessment tool can be used to identify some of these risks and create a risk prevention plan. The use of a low bed is one strategy that can be used in combination to prevent hospital falls. Midmed is proud to offer the Medstrom Solo Ultra-Low Hospital Bed.

A significant number of falls occur when the patient is mobilising around the bed space. The platform of this bed is low enough to encourage independent and safe mobilization, reducing the risk of falls. The Medstrom Solo can achieve the ultralow sleep deck height of just 22 cm from the floor, preventing serious injuries associated with falls from a standard bed height. An alarm will sound at 3 cm above the lowest point ensuring patient and carer safety is kept. A pre-set platform height can be programmed depending on the patient’s needs. This will ensure the bed stops at the appropriate height for the patient to have their feet on the floor, increasing patient safety.

The Medstrom series incorporates a Safe, Stop positioning feature in the backrest, eliminating guesswork for the caregiver. The backrest will automatically stop at the most clinically relevant places, 30° and then again at 45°. The electric backrest lengthens as it articulates allowing a patient to be in a semi-upright position without sliding down the bed. A chair position is easily achieved with a simple push of a button. That same button will give you a full cardiac chair position, a great first step to mobilisation.

The Medstrom Solo offers Trendelenburg and reverse Trendelenburg positions and has an automatic back to flat feature once again eliminating guesswork. In an arrest situation, the electronic CPR button will return the patient quickly and smoothly to the flat resuscitation position. The ergonomic design of the side rails maintains safety without making the patient feel enclosed. The damper action of the split side rails allows them to be lowered smoothly and quietly.

The 100mm casters have been designed to provide a smooth ride on any surface. The Medstrom Solo offers excellent access with all lifting hoists. The standardized controls of the entire Medstrom range are simplistic and patient-friendly, encouraging the patient’s independence. The open design of the powder-coated frame enables clear access for cleaning and the removable head and footboard makes cleaning a breeze.

As you can see, the Medstrom Solo has been designed to reduce the number of costly patients falls within the hospital. For further information on this or any of the Midmed range of products please don’t hesitate to contact one of our friendly staff.