Look Out! Small Steps To Prevent Falls

May 25, 2011 by gfmhm
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Have you ever tripped, twisted your ankle, or had a serious fall?  If you have, you know how serious and painful a fall can be.  More than 2.3 million children ages 14 and younger are treated annually at hospital emergency departments for fall-related injuries.  Approximately one third of people over the age of 65 fall each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age.  At 80 years of age, more than half of seniors fall annually.

Falls have an ever-growing impact on both the economy and the well-being of many and must be prevented at all costs.  “The focus of our trauma program is to continuously work to improve our processes and the care we provide our trauma patients,” says Patty Massmann, DON, Emergency Department Manager.  “An important component of this program is injury prevention and education.  We’d like to prevent injuries from happening.” 

The American Trauma Society (ATS) offers these tips on falls prevention:

Windows
• Install window guards or stops
• Keep furniture away from windows
• Do not assume a window screen is an adequate safety device

Stairs
• Install handrails and extra lighting
• Keep stairs clear of clutter
• Install child safety gates at top and bottom of stairs

Furniture
• Ensure clear paths around furniture
• Supervise infants and small children while on furniture
• Use bed rails and highchairs; always use the harnesses provided

Floors
• Secure rugs with non-skid tape
• Use slip resistant mats in kitchen and bathrooms
• Keep floors clear of clutter

Outdoors
• Wear helmets and knee/elbow pads when skating and biking
• Educate children where falling hazards exist
• Repair uneven surfaces on sidewalks, patios, decks and driveways
• Use anti-slip paint on steps
• Install extra lighting

Daily Activity
• Store household items so that you do not have to reach, climb or stoop over
• Use reaching devices
• If you have to use a step stool, use one with rails
• Do not carry heavy items or items that cause you to become off balance
• Wear low-heeled shoes with nonskid soles that fit
• Do not wear socks without shoes on smooth floors

Granite Falls Municipal Hospital is a Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) hospital, meeting standards of commitment by continually ensuring its clinical equipment resources and staff training is met.  Granite Falls Municipal Hospital’s Emergency Department is trained and equipped to treat any emergency, and to efficiently stabilize and prepare patients with severe injuries for transport.

Patty Massmann, DON, continues, “Because Granite Falls Municipal Hospital is designated as a CALS hospital, we ensure that seriously injured patients have access to an organized system of trauma care.  We are committed to help provide life-saving emergency measures to a severely injured person.”

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