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Who is the biggest falls risk?

15 August 2019

Falls champion in Orthopaedics, Bonnie Cowan knows that the most typical candidate for a fall on her ward is not an elderly patient but a middle-aged male who reassures staff he is ‘okay’.

“My number one tip for every clinician in any hospital to prevent a fall today, tomorrow, into the future, is to talk to your patient about the risk of falls every day, every shift,” said Bonnie.

Every patient in a hospital setting is a falls risk regardless of their age, weight, gender, or condition.

There are a number of factors that impact a patient’s risk of a fall in hospital including their medications, the unfamiliar environment and anaesthetic.

“Young people can fall in hospital too and sustain significant physical injuries but the psychological impact and fear of falling is also distressing for families and our staff.  This is why I’m so passionate about falls prevention in the ward.”

According to Bonnie, it is all about communicating the risk to patients, so they understand their risk and the measures in place to avoid a fall.

“It starts with talking to our patients one-on-one, sharing the risks and letting them know it’s important to us to keep them safe,” she said.

Find the Falls Champion on your ward for access to great resources to keep your patients safer.

Last updated 3 October 2019
Last reviewed 15 August 2019

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