Sitter inattention still can let falls happen
Even well-designed patient sitter programs cannot prevent every patient fall, but the research by Michelle Feil, MSN, RN, senior patient safety analyst with the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority in Harrisburg identified particular shortcomings that are most likely to allow falls:
- The sitter was not within reach of the patient when the patient fell off a chair, wheelchair, or side of the bed.
- The patient tripped on an item in the path of walking to the bathroom.
- The sitter left the patient’s room with no designated backup staff, and the patient later was found on the floor.
- The patient’s legs became weak while ambulating, and the sitter was in the patient room or in the hallway.
- The patient was reaching for an item unassisted while sitting in a chair or wheelchair.
- The patient was found on the floor after being left unattended in the bathroom while toileting or showering.
- The patient slid to the floor while sitting on the edge of the bed.