Patient fx hip after family refused alarm - page 3

by Emilyinsc

14,083 Views | 100 Comments

Ok, the family for a short term rehab patient did not place an alarm due to family's refusal (this happened on a wed). He fell a day & a half later, breaking his hip and nose. The NH is coming down hard on the admission nurse... Read More


  1. 3
    This happens often. "Mom doesn't need an alarm". As long as each nurse is documenting that mom is non-compliant with wearing Person alarm, staff is not responsible when mom falls and breaks her hip. Yes of course family will blame you, but as long as each shift is documenting they can't do anything. No personal alarm, sensor pad, or self- release lap belt is gonna keep a resident from falling if they are determined to get up and walk.
    anotherone, imintrouble, and merlee like this.
  2. 1
    Well thank u for your responses. The patient was a&ox3. His daughter who was his poa happened to be an RN. He fell broke his hip and nose & went unchecked for a undetermined amt of time. The fall happened on night shift.
    I was the admitting nurse, and I documented the refusal. I wasn't the night nurse (the one he fell on).
    He fell 48 hrs after I had him. However, the NH did not see eye to eye with me.
    If we check our patients properly, there shouldn't be a need for alarms. An alarm doesn't stop someone from falling.
    It isn't a fix all. A patient has the RIGHT to refuse! Every one keeps forgetting that.
    I can't put into words how bad I feel for that patient right now.
    Doesn't matter anymore, I was terminated today. All I can do is the best I can. Sometimes we fall short, sometimes we f&*^% up, but we gotta keep trying and move on.
    anotherone likes this.
  3. 1
    where i work- we have the alarms on. too bad if the pt doesnt like it. or the family. I explain it's policy. we actually have a bed alarm person who audits us daily. I will continue to play the stupid corporate game if thats what they want, as i have no other skills for any other job. Of course, the poilicy is stupid- yay, the bed alarmm is going off- do you think we have the staff to do anything about it??? Hooray- i was notified that the pt is oob and has fallen by the time i got there. Of course this doesnt prevent falls. But I continue to play the game :-(
    anotherone likes this.
  4. 2
    Oh Yea and Also..I don't even know how many times I've had a family member tell me "They have the right to Fall!" My response is OK. Well I really hope that isn't the outcome>>>
    redhead_NURSE98! and anotherone like this.
  5. 1
    You were terminated over a fall? Even a bad fall shouldn't be cause for termination. I had someone fall yesterday- her head broke her fall. It happens. Alarms, documentation, and education are nothing against someone's will (or dementia). Being terminated is a bit harsh, unless there were more incidents before this one?
    wooh likes this.
  6. 1
    Don't forget - the hospitals are getting sued for this- and they also are not getting paid because of medicare for hospital acquired incidences . Of course the nurse is the scapegoat in this. Of course they are going to can someone over this.
    I have compropmised care of other pts when ive had pts who , despite having a bed alarm on ,insist on getting up and setting it off every 2 minutes.I take my chair and sit my butt where the pt is in direct view and tell them to sit down. Repeatedly.
    I know in this day and age of nursing , I will lose my job over things out of my control, and its just a matter of when.
    anotherone likes this.
  7. 3
    How do we know that the admitting RN DIDN'T do her best to educate the family? We all know it can be like talking til you're blue in the face to brick wall!

    Quote from liveyourlife747
    I think the nurse is to blame in my opinion. The nurse should've explained the safety issues and why an alarm was needed. Although alarms don't always prevent falls, it does help. Seems like the family was uneducated. I would've put the alarm on. They could be mad at me but I'm there for the pt and the Pts safety.
    wooh, anotherone, and jrwest like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from alika
    This happens often. "Mom doesn't need an alarm". As long as each nurse is documenting that mom is non-compliant with wearing Person alarm, staff is not responsible when mom falls and breaks her hip. Yes of course family will blame you, but as long as each shift is documenting they can't do anything. No personal alarm, sensor pad, or self- release lap belt is gonna keep a resident from falling if they are determined to get up and walk.
    at my facility, we were told that we still have to have the alarm on, it doesnt matter if we document that they dont want it. supposedly the facility is still responsible even if they refuse.
    jadelpn likes this.
  9. 0
    our nurses automatically plug in the bed checks and explain them and do their teaching. refusing the bed check isn't brought up as an option. sometimes the patient will refuse it after our song and dance.
    i feel bad for some of the pts with the bed check on who are aXo because all it does is drive them crazy and make them mad. if they wiggle or reposition in bed, BAM it goes off. i think the alarm sounding always magnifies x10 how long it takes to get a nurse in the room. even if she comes in 5 mins, those are a long long long 5 mins with those horrible bells and beeps.
  10. 4
    Quote from Emilyinsc
    Well thank u for your responses. The patient was a&ox3. His daughter who was his poa happened to be an RN. He fell broke his hip and nose & went unchecked for a undetermined amt of time. The fall happened on night shift.
    I was the admitting nurse, and I documented the refusal. I wasn't the night nurse (the one he fell on).
    He fell 48 hrs after I had him. However, the NH did not see eye to eye with me.
    If we check our patients properly, there shouldn't be a need for alarms. An alarm doesn't stop someone from falling.
    It isn't a fix all. A patient has the RIGHT to refuse! Every one keeps forgetting that.
    I can't put into words how bad I feel for that patient right now.
    Doesn't matter anymore, I was terminated today. All I can do is the best I can. Sometimes we fall short, sometimes we f&*^% up, but we gotta keep trying and move on.
    I am so sorry. Nurses are at the bottom of the food chain. Always.
    If you'd placed the alarm against the pt/family wishes you'd have been reprimanded. Since you left it off you were fired. This is a situation where there is no right response. It's so unjust.
    I've been in your shoes, and this incident will color the way you look at pt safety for the rest of your career.
    Orange Tree, IowaKaren, wooh, and 1 other like this.


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