Nurse’s Duty in Fall Prevention Especially in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis
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Nurse’s Duty in Fall Prevention especially in patients undergoing Hemodialysis
Falls can happen at any time and place in a hospital setting. It is a major patient safety issue causing injury, distress and even death. According to Debra Hain (2012), “In 2010, there were 2.35 million emergency room visits for non-fatal injuries in older adults with over 25% requiring hospitalization” (pg. 251). Falls can interrupt a person’s quality of life but also have a financial effect on the healthcare system (Hain, 2012). Falls are preventable and in order to reduce the rates for falls nurses must be more vigilant in their assessments to identify patients that are at risk, especially for those undergoing hemodialysis.
Hemodialysis works by connecting a patient to a machine that filters and removes the body of waste products through a dialyzer. Treatment complications can arise, such as post-dialysis hypotension and muscle cramping which places patients at risk for falls (Hain, 2012). Co-morbid conditions such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, diabetic neuropathy, or urinary incontinence can also put a patient at even greater risk (Hain, 2012). Frailty in patients can also be used as a predictive risk factor. A study (McAdams-Demarcol et al., 2013) reported that frailty can contribute to a higher risk for hospitalization and death for patients undergoing hemodialysis. According to McAdams-DeMarco1 et al. (2013), “one in seven patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis suffers a major bone fracture after a fall” (pg. 1).
Buchner (as cited in Hain, 2012) defined fall as “unintentionally coming to rest on a lower area, such as the ground, or floor (p. 252). In the hospital setting, nurses look for non-modifiable an...
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... (2013) study concluded that frailty was an independent risk factor and that frailty increases the short-term risk of experiencing a fall in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Hain’s article provided us with prevention strategies aimed at reducing falls that nurses can use to prevent them from occurring. Patients undergoing hemodialysis have a higher risk and nurses should be more thorough in their assessments to ensure patient safety and improve patient outcomes.
Hain, D. (2012). Fall Prevention in Adults Undergoing Incenter Hemodialysis. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 39(3), 251-255
Potter, P. A., Perry, A. G., Stockert, P.A., & Hall, A. (2013). Basic Nursing (7th ed.). St. Louis,
McAdams-DeMarco et al.: Frailty and falls among adult patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis: a prospective cohort study. BMC Nephrology 2013 14:224.