Disabled and elderly individuals are highly susceptible to falls. With this in mind, those who are taking care of these individuals know well that falls are troubling emergencies that can occur. It is important to minimize the occurrence of falls. Preventive measures typically include regularly checking the individual in order to minimize the risk for falls. Nevertheless, some falls could not be prevented. Once they occur, it is vital to be aware of the proper procedure in order to reduce the damage.
How to help out a bedridden individual from a fall
You have to take into consideration these measures when a bedridden individual falls out of his/her bed.
- Prevent falls by checking the individual more frequently and ask if they need to use the bathroom. Always make sure that everything the individual needs are within reach. The height of the shelves, door handles and other facilities should be suitable to their needs.
- Always respond right away if you discover that the individual has fallen. You can also call for help and then get down to the individual. Comfort and reassure the individual.
- Perform a preliminary assessment on the individual. You have to check the level of consciousness of the individual by calling out his/her name and comparing his/her responses to the normal ones. You should also check for any bleeding. In case bleeding is present, you have to apply pressure on the area by using a clean towel or dressing pad. Elevate the affected limb if possible. Additionally, check for any breaks, cuts, swelling or bruising. You have to provide first aid care if there are wounds or cuts.
- You have to lift the individual safely from the floor, just make sure that there are no contraindications such as a head or spinal injury. In case the individual is unconscious, place him/her in recovery position. In some facilities, they require lifting an individual using a hoist.
Complications of falls
A certain percentage of individuals who are bedridden especially those over 65 years old suffer from falls. Most of the injuries are minor, but it is important to note that falls can cause fractures, cuts, head trauma and other injuries that would require hospitalization, disability and even premature death in some cases.
One of the injuries that bedridden individuals can sustain is a hip fracture. These are considered as serious fall injuries that often result to long-term functional impairment. This is quite common among the elderly who accidentally fall from their beds. The treatment for hip fracture includes surgery and hospitalization that can span for a week.
Always bear in mind those who are bedridden whether young or old must be carefully monitored in order to prevent falls. With the measures stated earlier, the risk for falls can be drastically reduced as well as prevent unwanted injuries from occurring.