Submit a 1,250-1750 paper in APA format on risk management issues (falls in a hospital) at a Los Angeles, California hospital. Include the steps that have been set in place or discussed to address the issue. Discuss how the hospital determined a path to remedy the problem. Search the literature (at least 3 sources/references) that identifies valid methods adopted by other facilities to address the same problem. Compare the results to the process being developed at the chosen hospital. In this essay I would be discussing how the Children’s hospital in Central California had developed an initiative to prevent falls in young children.
This would be compared to a standard and accepted system in order to prevent falls. One of the major problems that nursing homes and hospitals face is falls and the sequela of events that arise as a result of trauma due to the fall. A fall is an unintentional alteration of position such that the individual ends up on the floor. They are common in elders, handicapped individuals and also very young children. The fatality rates and the chances of serious complications are higher in case the individual falls from a very high level.
Some amount of falls in the hospital may go unreported as the individual may have not sustained any trauma or because the individual may not like to report it as it may suggest his/her weakness. Elders, very young children and handicapped individuals are at a greater risk of suffering from falls and sustaining damage. Some of the injuries that can develop as a result of falls include fracture of bones, sprains, strains, lacerations, hematoma formation, cerebral contusion, concussion, spinal injury, etc (Alexandar et al, 2002 & Daly, 2001).
In hospitals, falls is one of the leading causes of death in elders. Death may not arise due to direct trauma but as a result of complications that arise from the sequela of events that develop following a fall. Compared to community events of falls, falls in the hospital occur at a greater frequency. In a community, falls occur at 30 % rate in elders every year, whereas in the nursing homes, it occurs at 50 % every year. The chances of complications developing are also realistically high.
For example, 1 % develops fracture of the femur, 5 % develop fracture of the other bones, 5 % develop damage to the soft-tissues, 2 % develop serious complications requiring in-patient treatment, etc. 1. 5 million Individuals above the age of 65 years suffered from falls, and at this rate, the number of falls would double by the year 2030. The frequency of falls is so high that every 3 out of 4 people report it. In hospitals, individuals above the age of 65 years account for one-fifth for all the cases of falls.
About 6 % of medical expenses are spent treating falls and the complications that develop out of them. More than 1800 individuals die from falls in hospitals every year. About 5 to 10 % develop serious complications from falls. The high chances of falls are not only suggestive that the individual’s health is poor, but also that the state of the hospitals is in poor condition. Individuals suffering from musculoskeletal diseases, gait disorders, cerebral disorders, visual problems, psychiatric conditions, chronic illnesses, etc, are at a higher risk of falling.
Besides, consumption of certain medications, factors that exist in the hospitals that do not cater to the personal needs of the patients, poor coordination between the clinical staff and the patient, etc, may contribute towards the high frequency rates of falls. The medications that can be associated with falls include hypnotics, sedatives, anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, antihistamines, tranquilizers, anti-hypertensives, benzodiazepines, etc. These drugs can cause drowsiness, poor muscular coordination, dizziness, altered judgement levels, altered consciousness, etc.
Some of the other external factors that are responsible for the high rates of falls in the hospitals include poor lighting facilities, slippery flooring, improper wheelchairs or walking facilities, defective bed height, bad toilet facilities, staircases without facilities for the handicapped, etc. About 16 to 27 % of all falls are associated with poor facilities that exist in the hospitals. Obstacles present on the way may also be the cause for accidental falls. About 25 % of the elders admitted to the hospitals suffer from some form of musculoskeletal disorders that makes it difficult for them to move around (CDC, 2000, & Alexander, 2002).
Following falls, the risk of complications is very high. Fracture of the hip is the most serious complications, which may be fatal in about 25 % of all cases, and another 20 to 30 % become seriously disabled. The condition of the patient is even worse when a pre-existent disorder is present. The individual’s life span may get reduced by a huge margin. Besides, the admission in the hospital is prolonged. Women more often develop hip fracture compared to men, as they have a higher risk of developing bone-degenerative disorders such as osteoporosis (CDC, 2006, & Alexander, 2002).