News and events
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
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.
Fall injuries and entrapment – A major source of injuries
On a yearly basis, nearly 40 million cases of fall injuries become serious enough to require medical attention. A surprisingly large number of these injuries afflict patients already attending hospital care. This contradicts the perception of hospitals and medical centers as being safe and controlled environments. In fact, fall injuries must be considered among the biggest problems in hospital care, as each year somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people fall in the hospital in the United States alone(1).
The vast majority of all falls in hospitals occur around the bed. Many patients become restless during sleep due to certain medical conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and certain mental conditions. These patients often become disoriented or confused while sleeping or upon waking. When these types of situations occur, patients can fall out of bed, causing serious injuries. Observational studies show that 60–70% of all falls in hospital occur from the bed or bedside chair(2). We find different patient groups among those being more vulnerable and more easily subjected to fall injuries. They include persons with psychiatric or mental health problems, patients with age related weaknesses, patients in rehabilitation, stroke patients, Parkinson patients or any in-patient assessed at risk of falling.
In general, injuries sustained from a serious fall have many resulting-effects for both the patient concerned and the hospital or care provider. Apart from extended hospital stay and increased cost, they also have large negative physical and psychological effects on the persons afflicted, ranging from severe pains and loss of self-confidence up to permanent loss of mobility after a bed fall.
The long-term effects of fall injury on an individual patient’s psychological and physical condition are also alarming. A fall injury can be very disruptive for a patient rehabilitating from another disease or condition, and the resulting loss of self-confidence or increased anxiety may in some cases contribute to further complications or even creating a permanent need for long-term care or treatment for the patient.
The use of side rails is debated, and both individual hospitals as well as governments have taken actions to legislate against their use. They can be equally hazardous, especially for demented or agitated individuals who may be harmed by sliding between the rails or attempting to climb over them. In general, side rails impose a risk of injuries due to entrapment, in a few severe cases even leading to a deadly outcome.
Between January 1, 1985 and January 1, 2013, FDA received 901 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in hospital beds. The reports included 531 deaths, 151 nonfatal injuries, and 220 cases where staff needed to intervene to prevent injuries. Most patients were frail, elderly or confused(3).
For more on costs attributed to fall injuries and entrapment in hospital environments, please read our full series of articles on the subject.
1) Source: learnnottofall, 2) Source: the medical journal of Australia / Oxford journals, 3) Source: FDA, US department of Health and Human Services.
This is the first article of a series of three related to entrapment and fall injuries produced by Human Care.
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.
Human Care – Benchmark brand for the AADL
Human Care Canada is pleased to announce that effective July 1, 2013 our ceiling lifts and equipment have been confirmed as the benchmark brand for the AADL (Alberta Aids to Daily Living) government program. Our quality, versatility and innovation not only initiated interest but ultimately cemented our acceptance as the authorized lift equipment provider within this province. Human Care will continue to strive for excellence in this and every product we distribute.
New soft bag for neXus
Human Care is proud to present a new soft bag for the neXus rollators. The soft bag has convenient pockets ideal for storing a mobile phone or tablet and it can also remain on the rollator even in the folded position.
Read more about the new neXus soft bag.
Thanks for visiting us at Abilities Expo
The Abilities Expo is the leading event for 54 million Americans with disabilities and those who support them, their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals. The show offers a wide range of exhibitors, products and services. We would like to thank all of you who took the time to visit our stand at the exhibition. The exhibition provided a great opportunity for us to meet up with new customers and show our lifting products.
New colour and new sling!
Human Care is pleased to announce the launch of a new stylish design in our updated sling range. The edges and straps on all sling models are now our green colour and other small modifications have been made to further improve our range too. To strengthen our offering even more, we now launch a new model – highback plusline. The new sling is a high back model with divided leg parts and designed for heavier patients. Have a look at our product page for slings to know more about the new Highback plusline.
Existing stock will be depleted and the introduction of slings with new color will be done progressively from 14 July 2014.
Please contact Human Care if you have any questions.
New Accessory – neXus cane holder
We are pleased to introduce a new cane holder for the neXus series. This cane holder is easy to assemble and fits all of our neXus models. This new cane holder can carry a standard size cane and will ensure it is easily accessible whenever you need it.
Part no. 80703.
Contact us for more information or to place your order!
Visit Human Care at Arab Health.
Human Care is pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at Arab Health, 26-29 January 2015 at Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre in Dubai.
Visit our stand and learn more about our product portfolio and our new product developments.
You will find us together with “Business Sweden” in Zabeel hall Z2A50/Z2B50.
Welcome to Human Care!
Human Care Passes ISO 13485:2003/2012 Audit
Human Care is pleased to announce that it has passed its ISO 13485:2003/2012 multi-site surveillance audit. All Human Care companies are now certified to ISO 13485. Meeting the requirements of the surveillance audit reflects Human care’s continued focus of maintaining a world-class quality system and producing superior products. This certification represents a major achievement and milestone for the Human Care group.
The ISO 13485:2003/2012 certification is a stand-alone standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization that provides harmonized quality management systems requirements for manufacturers of medical devices. It is adopted by the European Commission as proof of conformity with EU regulations for design, development and manufacturing of medical devices according to EEC decrees 93/42/EEC.