September 5, 2011

Reflecting on the Possibility of Preventing Falls among Elderly Patients in a Surgical Ward Sample


There are various reasons why elderly patients in a surgical ward may fall, injuring them even more almost instantly, the issue of patient’s safety and security have been the primary concern of most hospital and clinical institution but elders do fall unpredictably. Elderly patients at the age of 65 falling is a serious problem, medical professionals has realized the needs to develop a plan to purposely prevent such incidents from happening. No matter how careful the clinical person and their staff including the patients’ family some accidents may happen unknowingly due to slipping or tripping and other misbehavior of elderly patients may cause such accidents.

Accidents are bound to happen but it can be measured in numbers by creating a fall management program in the surgical ward especially for the elderly. The research and methodology included in the study of fall management is done independently in every hospital depending on their tools, number of patients and the size of the hospital maybe considered to successfully studying the situation and the outcome of the study so as to give a good conclusion and resolution.

Such studies do not only identify the reason for falling but give a preventive measure that can assure accuracy and sensitivity of patients risk from falling. Patients education proved to be effective by orienting the elderly patients to the surgical ward if possible, if not possible due to disorientation or confusion because of aging then the patients like this one should always have an assistant every now and then, their assistant will be the one to call the nurse or doctor for immediate needs rather than the patient who would try to walk that may cause them to fall.

The most advantageous safety measures are the staffs or nurses should be educated enough to take care of their patients or advising them about what may happen or giving them first hand orientation about their mobility, their record should be easily within reach so as not to interchange such records, this can be use for the research and interpretation of the severity of fall. The staff should be the primary source of patient’s information and prevention.

Good basic nursing care may include heightening or leveling the bed of the patient according to their comfortable status so as to keep them easy to move, they should also check the bed if it is movable enough to re-position and lock. They should also check on the wheelchair if it is movable or the lock is working before use same goes with ladder or stretchers that they often use in moving patients. All these are just basic tools to prevent such fall not just for the elderly but for patients in general, Sensor alarm are available commercially such device will sound if the patient tried to move hazily and the ward are reminded for their attention, Use of Hip protector for patients who cannot walk may allow support and mobility.

Actually all this equipment should be checked regularly even before operation or surgery may occur. In Mid Yorkshire Hospital NHS trust in Clayton, Dewsbury in Europe they have identified the following intervention to reduce the risk of falling of elderly patients in a surgical ward. 1. There should be a documentation assessment for proper treatment if there is a fall incidents. 2. There should be an immediate transfer of communication and reports 3. Necessity of patients should be prepared within reach so as to prevent the patients from frequent standing 4. Check the footwear of the patient or replace it if needed. 5. Assist the patients in toileting if necessary 6. Immediate referrals should be observed immediately 7.Regular checks of patient. 8. Use of alarm for immediate attention. 9. Environmental check up of facilities, walkways, stairs and rails.

In conclusion of using the following fall management series of Mid Yorkshire Hospital NHS trust and after the successful implementation in two months of research in 2002, the nursing staff is well trained, documentation of fall risk management has been published and readily available for the staff, they now have a standard continuity of approach. The present statistic still does not show much improvement during the few months of pre- testing but is has been improved after a few more months.

Basically they have taken their steps toward the prevention of fall on elderly patients in a surgical ward. They will continue to take a further research and development for a more comprehensive approach in fall management that can also be adopted in other hospitals if they have found it to be successful in reducing the risk in fall management.

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