Fall Prevention

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Fall Prevention in the Long Term Care Setting
Preventing falls among residents in the long term care healthcare setting requires an all-around approach, and the recognition, evaluation and prevention of resident falls are significant tasks for all who seek to provide a safe environment in any healthcare setting. It is acknowledged that most of the currently available data, research and guidelines on fall prevention are most evident in long-term care settings; however, much is applicable for all healthcare settings. This document provides a summary of the issues, strategies and tools to define and measure falls, identify risks and target prevention strategies. The content in this document has been organized to focus on specific characteristics of a comprehensive falls prevention program. The sections in this document include: •Causes of falls: information to assist with identifying risks and prevention. •Interventions and prevention strategies: summary of strategies. Causes of falls

It has been helpful for some to classify falls based on environmental, as well as physiologic, factors as a way to better understand their causes. One approach, presented by researcher Janice Morse, suggests that falls be classified as accidental, unanticipated physiologic, or anticipated physiologic, as defined below: •Accidental falls occur when residents fall unintentionally. For example, they may trip, slip, or fall because of a failure of equipment or by environmental factors such as spilled water or urine on the floor. •Unanticipated physiologic falls occur when the physical cause of the falls is not reflected in the resident’s risk factor for falls. A fall in one of these residents is caused by physical conditions that cannot be predicted until the patient falls. For example, the fall may be due to fainting, a seizure, or a hip fracture. •Anticipated physiologic falls occur in residents whose score on risk assessment scale indicates that they are at risk of falling....
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