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Preventing Injuries

Injuries are very common in nursing homes.  While residents in nursing homes are naturally more prone to injury due to factors like weakened muscles and decreased balance, many nursing home injuries are preventable.

Falls are the biggest source of preventable injuries in nursing homes. Just 5% of residents live in nursing homes, but 20% of residents who die from falls are nursing home residents.  Most nursing home residents – 50% to 75% – fall every year. Furthermore, many patients fall multiple times – 2.6 times each year, on average.

Bedsores are another common, yet preventable cause of injury.  According to the CDC, up to 28% of nursing home residents have bedsores.  If not recognized and treated properly, these can result in tissue death, infection, and even death.  Unfortunately, only 35% of nursing home residents with bedsores receive special wound care.

Each year, many nursing home residents also suffer injuries from medication errors, abuse, and negligence.

Many of these injuries can be prevented with good patient care.  For example:

  • Conducting individualized fall risk assessments for every resident
  • Fixing trip and slip hazards, like wet floors or exposed cords
  • Turning bed-bound patients every two hours to prevent bedsores
  • Adding checks to prevent medication errors
  • Training staff on how to prevent injuries – and ensuring accountability for errors

If you need support or have any questions, please contact us for immediate assistance.

References

“Deaths from Unintentional Injury Among Adults Aged 65 and Over: United States, 2000 – 2013.”  May 2015.  National Center for Health Statistics: NCHS Data Brief No. 199.United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  United States Department of Health and Human Services.  Available athttp://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db199.htm

“Falls in Nursing Homes.”  February 29, 2012.  United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  United States Department of Health and Human Services.Available at http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/CDC_Falls_in_Nursing_Homes.pdf

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