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Reducing Your Risk of Falls in the Hospital

We want to make sure you are safe during your hospital stay, so we have prepared these guidelines to help prevent falls. We don't want you to get injured or cause your recovery to take longer than expected.

In the hospital you are at risk of falling because:

  • A fall is more likely to occur in an environment that is unfamiliar to you, such as a hospital room.
  • You may be taking medicine that might cause you to be dizzy or confused.
  • You may be weak and unsteady from being from being in the hospital or from your tests and treatments.

What can you do to help prevent a fall in the hospital?

  • Remain seated or in bed. Do not try to get up and walk by yourself. Call. Don’t Fall!
  • Make sure that all items you need are within your reach. These include your call button, telephone, and personal items like tissues or water. If you can’t reach something, please call for help.
  • If instructed, always use your walker, cane, crutches, brace, or other type of assistive device. Remind the staff member who is helping you.
  • Use non-skid footwear, such as rubber-soled slippers or socks.
  • Get up slowly when getting out of your bed or your chair to prevent dizziness.
  • When you are in the bathroom, use the grab bars to help you sit and stand. Make sure you know where the call button is located in the bathroom.
  • If you have any IVs, drains, or tubes, be sure to call for help every time you need to get up. This is important to prevent tugging on the equipment or tripping over it.
  • Move slowly when changing positions. Try to stand with your feet shoulder length apart. This will help you keep your balance.

What do we do to prevent you from falling in the hospital?

  • Caregivers will visit you each hour during the day and every two hours at night. During this time, we will:
    • Check on your well-being
    • Monitor your comfort and pain
    • Help you move and change positions
    • Help you to the bathroom
  • Caregivers will make sure you have easy access to the:
    • call light for assistance
    • telephone
    • bedside table
    • water or other drinks
    • personal items
    • urinal, bedpan, or bedside commode

Remember: Call. Don’t Fall!

Here is a checklist of things you can do to help prevent falls:

  • Do you have your call light within reach?
  • Do you have a clear path to the bathroom and doorway?
  • Are you wearing non-skid footwear?
  • Are you wearing your yellow wristband?
  • If you notice a fall hazard, please notify your nurse.

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on:10/30/2012…#8977