Accidental falls may occur in the surgery center. These accidents are as distressing to the center personnel as they are to the patient and family. Our healthcare team of nurses, doctors and assistants are here to assist you in a safe and speedy recovery. Your participation and cooperation with this program will help you prevent unnecessary injury.
Why falls happen
Falls may occur in the Surgery Center due to:
- Medications such as tranquilizers, sleeping tablets, pain relievers, blood pressure pills or diuretics may make you dizzy and disoriented.
- Your illness or preparations taken prior to your procedure such as enemas, new medications, long periods without food and water, or tests your physician has ordered may make you weak and unsteady.
- Previous history of falls may increase the fear of falling again.
- Physical and mental impairments such as unsteady gait, site or hearing problems, confusion, incontinence and diarrhea.
- Surgical procedure/treatments to lower extremities.
- The Surgery Center may seem foreign and unfamiliar to you, especially when you wake up after anesthesia.
Safety guidelines for preventing falls
By following the safety guidelines below you, your family, and friends can help reduce your risk of falling.
- When you need to use the restroom, request someone to assist you by using your call light by your stretcher or in the bathroom. You will be asked to wear the center supplied nonskid socks unless you are allowed to leave your shoes on.
- Remain lying or seated while waiting for assistance. Please be patient, you will be assisted as soon as possible.
- Patients requiring anesthetics and/or pain medication should be assisted with dressing by a staff member. Do not attempt to get dressed unattended.
- The nurse will assist you with getting out of bed. You might feel dizzy or weak, if you do, we will have you sit in bed awhile before standing (remember you are more likely to faint or feel dizzy after sitting or lying for a long time). We will then have you rise carefully and slowly before you begin to walk with assistance.
- Walk slowly and carefully when out of bed with assistance. Do not support yourself on rolling objects such as IV poles or bedside tables.
- Always follow your physician’s orders and the caregiver’s instructions regarding whether you must stay in bed or require assistance to go to the bathroom.
- Because center staff members cannot remain constantly at a patient’s side, it is recommended that a family member stay with the patient at all possible times.