Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of injury deaths in older adults. The fact that the majority of falls can be prevented means that education and safety measures are of the utmost importance for facilities everywhere. September 22 marks the annual observance of Fall Prevention Awareness Week and it's a great opportunity to spread fall prevention education and upgrade patient safety accessories in your facility. Let's take a look at the importance of Fall Prevention Safety Week and some of the accessories that Z&Z Medical carries to prevent those unexpected falls with patients while in your care.
The Dangers of Falling
Falls occur not only to patients, but to employees, as well. Hospitals are surprisingly dangerous environments, with employees reporting injury and illness at almost double the rate of their private industry counterparts. Furthermore, 25 percent of these injuries come from falls, slips and trips. When it comes to patients, a fall can be the beginning of a terrible series of medical problems, all of which could be prevented by taking proper precautions. Failure to do so could result in liability on part of your facility and, even worse, disastrous results for the patients that you're intending to care for.
Reasons for Falls
It's important to reduce as many hazardous circumstances that lead to preventable falls as possible and this means keeping an eye out for the biggest culprits. Slippery surfaces, cluttered areas and uneven ramps or floors are host to many falls. It's our job to eliminate these hazards in medical facilities and to educate our patients to do the same in their own homes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers a great eTool that you can use as a resource to prevent slips, trips and falls.
Patient Immobilizer Straps
At Z&Z Medical, we encourage the use of patient immobilizers to further reduce the occurrence of falls in older and/or sedated patients while in medical imaging. Patient Immobilizer Straps are single band patient positioner that wraps underneath the table pad and encircles the patient, attaching at the front with hook and loop fasteners. They secure the patient comfortably. They are radiolucent and are easy to clean with 10% bleach solution or disinfectant wipes and sprays. They won't limit respiration or circulation and they'll keep a patient firmly in place without causing any discomfort. They're perfect for use in MRI, CT or x-ray procedures.
Take advantage of Fall Prevention Awareness Week to make your work environment safer for patients, workers and visitors alike. Use the resources provided by OHSA and consider this week an opportunity to inform all co-workers of the dangers associated with hospital falls. Come learn more about Z&Z Medical patient handling accessories including and immobilizer strap offerings today.
A common concern for Radiologic Technologists and for the parents of young children needing x-rays, is how to immobilize the patient and how to minimize the exposure to radiation. Children need x-rays for a variety of reasons. Broken bones, digestive problems, chest congestion/cough just to name a few. Babies and children are also images often to locate those coins, marbals, paper clips, and any other item that may have been swallowed. Babies and children are typical wiggle worms and remaining still for any length of time is typically not in their vocabulary. Movements during an x-ray however creates a blurry image. Blurred images are not good for the radiologist who is wanting to provide a diagnosis and/or determine the underlying cause of a problem or illness. Even though parents are often allowed in the imaging room to assist with immobilization, this is often ineffective and is not safe as there are dangers to radiation exposure. If the Radiologic Technologist holds the child, they are also at risk of unnecessary exposure. This is why we wanted to spend a few minutes discussing the options that are on the market today to aide with immobilization.