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older woman walking with supportFalls Are Serious 

At WakeMed, our goal is to make your stay as safe and comfortable as possible - your health and safety are our top priority. Patients of all ages are at risk of falling during a stay in the hospital, and we make a serious effort to prevent this from happening.  It is more common to fall in situations that are strange and unfamiliar to you.

  • Noise, light, scheduling of tests and other factors may make it more difficult to rest, leaving you tired and more vulnerable to falling.
  • Medications may make you groggy, light headed or dizzy, increasing your risk of falling.
  • Surgery, procedures, childbirth, or bedrest may leave you weak and unbalanced.
  • Tubes, IV lines, and other special equipment may make it difficult for you to get out of bed safely or to walk alone.

How You Can Help Prevent Falls

Our staff will take measures to prevent falls, but there are ways you can help:

  • If you are feeling weak or ill, or have special tubes and lines, please do not try to get up alone. Call your nurse and ask for help.
  • Get up slowly from the bed or chair to prevent dizziness.
  • Sit down immediately if you feel weak or dizzy.
  • Use handrails in the hall and bathroom.
  • Wear non-slip footwear. If you do not have footwear, tell your nurse. Our physical therapy department recommends sneaker-type or athletic-type shoes for falls prevention. Ask your family to bring in your sneaker-type shoes.
  • Have necessary items within reach: phone, tissues, water, call bell and anything else you might need.
  • Use your call bell for assistance to get things that are beyond your reach.
  • Report spills or hazardous conditions to your health care team.

Taking Additional Precautions

Some patients, because of their condition, are identified as being at higher risk for falls. For those patients, we may need to take additional safety precautions.

  • In some areas of the hospital, you may be given a green armband to wear. This will remind all hospital staff of our special concern for your safety.
  • Please call for assistance when you need help toileting.
  • It may be necessary to ask a family member or friend to stay with you at all times.

If you have questions or would like additional information regarding how to prevent falls, feel free to talk with your caregiver.