Bed Alarm Use in Hospitalized Patients

Francis-Coad, J., Hill, A. M., Jacques, A., Chandler, A. M., Richey, P. A., Mion, L. C., & Shorr, R. I. (2020). Association between characteristics of injurious falls and fall preventive interventions in acute medical and surgical units. Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 75(10), e152–e158. 

Hospital falls continue to be a source of concern resulting in approximately one million falls annually in the United States hospitals. They jeopardize patient safety and cause injuries, raising the need for preventing measures for fall-related injuries. Francis-Coad et al. (2020) aimed to determine the correlation between fall interventions existing during the injurious fall and injurious faller characteristics. The researchers also attempted to analyze the connection between fall precautions at the moment of the adverse fall and its circumstances.

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The study concluded that detrimental incidents occur early after admission, emphasizing the need for immediate interventions. Additionally, injurious fallers having a physical constraint as an intervention had a longer period of stay. The source’s findings contribute to examining the project’s research question since the authors argue that bed alarms might have unforeseen consequences of reducing patient mobility. Bed alarms were proved to lead to “functional decline, disability, and longer lengths of stay” (Francis-Coad et al., 2020, p. e156). Hence, bed alarms are considered ineffective in averting patient falls and were not linked to a decline in the intensity of falls or reduced falls during night shifts.

Hoke, L. M., & Zekany, R. T. (2020). Two sides to every fall: Patient and nurse perspectives. Critical Care Nurse, 40(6), 33–41. Web.

Inpatient falls represent the frequent undesirable events promoting injury, prolonged hospital stays, and higher healthcare expenses. They remain the ongoing challenges in acute care settings despite the variety of preventive strategies. This study’s objective was to outline and categorize both patient and nurse perspectives on falls and interventions for reducing falls. The main findings imply that both nurse practitioners and patients agreed on the reasons for assisted falls; however, they disagreed on the causes of unassisted falls.

From the nurses’ point of view, implementing a bed alarm can prevent hospital falls. Hoke and Zekany (2020) demonstrated the opposing perceptions of patients experiencing hospital falls and nurses’ opinions, which helps to analyze the research question of the project from a different standpoint. Patients stated that they fell because “they slipped, had a medical problem, were dizzy, or had weak legs” (Hoke and Zekany, 2020, p. 35). Instead, nurses declared that the reasons for patients’ falls imply a medical issue or that patients did not call for assistance. The research supports the use of bed alarms as a preventive intervention, although this view supports only the nurses’ side.

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