Falls From Bed
There are many injuries which happen in areas you would think you are safe such as in bed. It is not uncommon for vulnerable adults such as nursing home residents to have falls from bed from rolling out of bed, or losing their balance exiting or entering bed. Serious injuries can occur from falling from the bed and hitting the bed, floor or nightstand or other obstacle near the bed such as a table or oxygen tank. Residents can suffer femur and hip fractures, and other life threatening injuries such as head injuries with hematomas. Many accident also happen when residents are transferred from wheelchairs to bed or from patient lift injuries to and from beds and lose balance or fall from the lift.
Approximately 1.8 million emergency room visits and over 400 thousand hospital admission occur to those over the age of 65 resulted from falling out of bed according to the Center for Disease Control.
Falls From Bed Can Be Prevented
Pursuant to 42 CFR 483.25, quality of care is a fundamental principle that applies to all treatment and care provided to facility residents. Based on the comprehensive assessment of a resident, the facility must ensure that residents receive treatment and care in accordance with professional standards of practice, the comprehensive person-centered care plan, and the resident’s choices, including but not limited to the following:
(d) Accidents. The facility must ensure that—
(1) The resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible; and
(2) Each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.
(n) Bed rails. The facility must attempt to use appropriate alternatives prior to installing a side or bed rail. If a bed or side rail is used, the facility must ensure correct installation, use, and maintenance of bed rails, including but not limited to the following elements.
(1) Assess the resident for risk of entrapment from bed rails prior to installation.
(2) Review the risks and benefits of bed rails with the resident or resident representative and obtain informed consent prior to installation.
(3) Ensure that the bed’s dimensions are appropriate for the resident’s size and weight.
(4) Follow the manufacturers’ recommendations and specifications for installing and maintaining bed rails.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 144.7056, Subdivision 1., each facility shall report to the commissioner the occurrence of any of the adverse health care events described in subdivisions 2 to 7 as soon as is reasonably and practically possible, but no later than 15 working days after discovery of the event. The report shall be filed in a format specified by the commissioner and shall identify the facility but shall not include any identifying information for any of the health care professionals, facility employees, or patients involved. The commissioner may consult with experts and organizations familiar with patient safety when developing the format for reporting and in further defining events in order to be consistent with industry standards.
Minnesota Statute 144,7065, Subd. 5., mandates reporting under care management events. Events reportable under this subdivision (7) patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a facility
Attorney For Falls From Bed
I you have questions about nursing home abuse and neglect and fractures or other fall related injuries contact Kenneth LaBore for a free consultation. There is no fee unless there is a verdict or settlement offer from the wrongdoer. Mr. LaBore can be reached directly at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.