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Fall injuries and entrapment – The cost issue

Fall injuries are among the most serious problems in hospital care, and a vast majority of all falls that take place in hospitals occur around the bed. In the USA alone, somewhere between 700,000 to 1,000,000 people suffer from fall injuries each year while attending hospital care and observational studies show that 60–70% of all falls in hospital occur from the bed or bedside chair(1).

Many patients become restless during sleep due to medical conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and certain mental conditions. These patients often become disoriented or confused while sleeping or upon waking. The injuries sustained from a serious fall have many repercussions, often long-term, on both the physical and psychological condition of the patient as well as on their ability to rehabilitate and fully recover.

The costs of fall related injuries are therefore substantial, both to the health care system and to society as a whole. These costs stem from direct sources such as surgical treatment and prolonged hospital stays, but there are numerous cost-effects to be added from indirect sources such as work-absence rates and losses of income from family members related to increased dependency on others during convalescence.

A fall in a hospital that results in serious injury is estimated to add at least $13 000 to a patient’s costs, just as a result of the increased length of stay and surgical costs. The average cost of a fall injury in the USA is $19,440 USD if you include hospitals, nursing homes, emergency rooms and home healthcare(2.)

Preventive cost in hospitals and health care also comes at a high rate from the extra staffing required for patient surveillance in order to monitor patients with fall risks. The injuries in themselves are cause for escalating costs as well, due to the patients’ prolonged periods of treatment. There are more days spent in hospital care, longer periods of rehabilitation and a higher expense in surgical treatment.

For more on finding effective solutions to prevent fall injuries and entrapment in and around hospital or medical beds, please read our full series of articles on the subject.

1) Source: the medical journal of Australia / Oxford journals, 2) Source: learnnottofall.

This is the second article of a series of three related to entrapment and fall injuries produced by Human Care.

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Fall injuries and entrapment – Solutions to the problem

The vast majority of all falls that take place in hospitals occur around the bed. Fall injuries are among the most serious problems in hospital care. Somewhere between 700,000 to 1,000,000 people suffer from fall injuries each year in the US alone(1), and observational studies show that 60–70% of all falls in hospital occur from the bed or bedside chair(2). As means of protection, side rails are being more and more questioned. Both individual hospitals and governments have taken actions to legislate against their use, the single most important argument being the risk of entrapment. Between 1985 and 2013, the FDA received 901 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in hospital beds(3).

The psychological impact of side rails is also significant as they contribute to deprive patients of their dignity, and sometimes even worsen symptoms of anxiety and nervousness in patients suffering from dementia or other mental problems. Increased patient surveillance is another way of attacking the problem, but this comes at very high costs while still not guaranteeing the security of the patients. To adequately monitor patients with fall risks means to increase staffing by
significant numbers.

Crash mats offer a different approach by going from prevention to limiting the injuries inflicted by the fall. But crash mats introduce other problems, chiefly bigger risks of infections using mattresses on the floor right next to medical beds. A second problem concerns the ergonomics for the caregivers. A crash mat adds inconvenience for the staff since it has to be removed or leaned over when caring for the patient, as well as creating a trip hazard.

Using low level beds lessens, but does not eliminate the risk of injury. Patients who are at risk of falling are not protected from the impact of a fall if the bed only descends to a height of 20 cm (8 inches). That distance to the floor – although appearing to be small and harmless – can still lead to serious injuries.

To eliminate fall injuries you need to reduce the impact force of the fall. Starting from a height of only 10 cm (4 inches), if you add 5 cm (2 inches) in height the impact force increases by 50 %. From 20 cm, the height of most so called low level beds, the result is a 100 % increase in the impact force compared to falling from 10 cm or floor level(4).

A true floor level bed will avoid the hazardous drop distance, and eliminate the need for extra monitoring of patients resulting in increased safety and added savings. A true floor level of less than 10 cm from the ground lets the patient roll out of
bed, if they are determined to do so.

In addition to functioning at a floor level, the floor level beds can also be raised up to 80 cm (31 inches) from the floor, creating an optimum working height that reduces the risk of back injuries for caregivers. Using height adjustable floor level
beds improve the ergonomics for caregivers.

The cost of investing in a floor level bed is many times less than the average cost of treating one single fall injury in a hospital environment. A reduced number of fall injuries translate into significant cost savings, and the use of floor level beds greatly enhances both the dignity and quality of care for patients at risk of being exposed to fall injuries.

1) Source: learnnottofall, 2) Source: the medical journal of Australia / Oxford journals, 3) Source: FDA, US department of Health and Human Services. 4) Source: Study by Dr George Zaphir, Australia

This is the third article of a series of three related to entrapment and fall injuries produced by Human Care.

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New Power traverse for HeliQ overhead lifts.

Human Care is pleased to present its new Power traverse for HeliQ overhead lifts that makes our stationary lifting solution even better! The Power Traverse cannot only adjust the lift up and down but, more importantly, sideways. This not only ensures smooth movement, but also that you do not have to drag heavy patients which can lead to back injuries for the caregiver. The new HeliQ Power Traverse also creates a more comfortable lifting experience for patients as they are transferred in one steady pace.

The new HeliQ Power Traverse has dual speed, high water protection (IPX4) and can easily pass curtain gaps in rails. Power traverse must be ordered in conjunction with the HeliQ overhead lift and is available in three weight capacities: 150 kg (330lbs), 220 kg (485 lbs) and 300 kg (660 lbs).

Contact your local Human Care representative for more information!

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New rail rollers for in-rail charging

Human Care is pleased to present new in-rail charging rail rollers that complete our lift program with all products needed for continuous in-rail charging of the HeliQ overhead lifts. These new products are designed to allow a continuous charge of the HeliQ overhead lifts. In-rail charging will assure greater efficiency and provide the opportunity for easier handling of both the lift and the patient. Rails with in-rail charging ensure that the lift is charged at all times, which means you don´t need a charging station, and the lift can be left anywhere in the rail system. In-rail Charging is available for all straight rails and traverse systems and all Human Care rail profiles are prepared for in-rail charging.

Find out more about the new rail rollers at our website or contact your local Human Care representative for more information.

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Human Care HC AB Acquires Tilcentrum B.V.

Stockholm, Sweden, 1st of March, 2016

Human Care HC AB today announces its acquisition of Tilcentrum B.V. Tilcentrum is one of the top-three leading brands in the Netherlands within Patient Lifting and Transfer Solutions. The acquisition significantly expands and strengthens Human Care´s geographic reach and go-to-market channels.

Tilcentrum B.V. will become a subsidiary of Human Care HC AB.

“We are very pleased to welcome Tilcentrum B.V. to the Human Care Group. Tilcentrum B.V. is a very well-known and appreciated brand, with strengths in sales, service, and design. Complementing Tilcentrum with Human Care´s wide range of innovative products and manufacturing capabilities will significantly strengthen it´s market position further” stated Lars Kvarnhem, CEO and President of Human Care HC AB.

Tilcentrum´s CEO Paul van Scheppingen comments: “We are very pleased with this opportunity. Human Care is a well-known global company, known for its customer focus, well-designed and high technology products. We are excited about the future”

For further information, please contact:

Lars Kvarnhem, CEO and President, Human Care HC AB.
Phone: +46 (0)8 665 35 00
Email: lars.kvarnhem@humancaregroup.com

Paul van Scheppingen, CEO, Tilcentrum B.V.
Phone: +31 (0) 577 412 171
Email: p.vscheppingen@tilcentrum.nl

 

About Human Care HC AB
Human Care produces and provides mobility solutions for people with special needs. Our more than 23 years of experience is reflected in a broad selection of premium products offering high customer value and satisfying every customer need. Our main product areas are: Lifting Solutions, Mobility Aids, Healthcare Beds, Convertible Chairs, and Bathroom Safety Products for people with reduced mobility. Our headquarters are located in Stockholm, Sweden with subsidiaries in the USA, Canada and Australia. In addition we collaborate with distributors in more than 40 other countries.

 

About Tilcentrum B. V.
Tilcentrum is a leader in preventive physical lifting, offering total solutions for lifting and transfer solutions in healthcare. Since 1996 Tilcentrum is known for its innovative products, services and customer solutions.

 

Links:
Human Care website: www.humancaregroup.com
Tilcentrum website: www.tilcentrum.nl

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Four New Sling Models

Human Care is pleased to announce the launch of four new models in our sling range that strengthens our sling offering even more. The new models that are included in this launch are the following:

General purpose sling with clips – reusable
General purpose sling with clips – single patient use
Positioning sling standard reusable
Positioning sling – ventilated material

General purpose slings with clips (reusable and single patient use model)
Human Care´s new General purpose slings with clips are available in a reusable model and a single patient use model. These new slings are similar to our general purpose sling (NSB-104 and NSB-103) but with clips instead of loops.

Positioning sling standard reusable
The positioning sling standard reusable is a positioning sling for repositioning and horizontal transfer. The new sling provides the opportunity for excellent care and at the same time safe and comfortable transfer for the patient. Thanks to breathability the sling can be left behind the patient.

Positioning sling ventilated material
Human Care´s new positioning sling ventilated material is a sling made for repositioning and horizontal transfer. The sling has a ventilated material which is gentle against the patient´s skin, offers airflow and breathability and is designed to wick away moisture from the patient´s skin. Thanks to breathability the sling can be left behind the patient.

Read more about our new slings in our updated product catalogue.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at any time!

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Product Launch: New accessory kit for the neXus

Express your personality with our new accessory kit. Available in three striking colours of blue, purple or tartan, the kit allows you to customize your neXus to your personal choice. The new soft bag easily fits onto your existing brackets and comes with a zippered cover to protect your belongings as well as allowing easy access. Just place the new, extra comfortable padded back strap over your existing backrest, and close the snaps. The new handle will add the final touch to your rollator and match your new accessories perfectly. Let us help you make your rollator as individual as you are!

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Meet the humans of human care.

I'm no different from you. I might be older, less agile. My legs are slow but my mind is quick. I have a career. Or maybe I've had one. Either way I'm not slowing down. I can keep up. But some things don't come easy anymore. Small things, and some big ones. Appearance matters, I'm still vain. I'm still happy. I know I need some help, even more than just a little. I don't mind as long as it works. But hey, it is what it is.