Patient fx hip after family refused alarm

  1. 1
    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 since she didn't place the alarm on wed (but remember the family refused). Who is responsible? the admission nurse who wasn't present on the night of the fall? the nurse on duty? or the NH? or no one since the family since refused the alarm & it was documented.
    Joe V likes this.

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  4. 100 Comments...

  5. 3
    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.
  6. 4
    There is not enough information to make a choice. If the family members were not POA, then the patient is the only one that could refuse any care. However, if it is determined that the patient is a fall risk, then the nurse should be sure that all safety measures are taken, including an alarm in wheel chair and on bed.
    enchantmentdis, Jennybrie, KelRN215, and 1 other like this.
  7. 1
    If the patient is identified as a fall risk, a chair alarm is just one measure to prevent a fall. There are other interventions that can be utilized to prevent a patient fall.
    bewitched likes this.
  8. 11
    Regardless of whether or not the family members were the POA, it is the responsibility of the nursing home to ensure the patient's safety so the alarm should have been placed. If the nurse cannot explain to the family the necessity of the alarm, then the DON should have been called to do so and if the DON can't, then the administrator. I am an ADON and have been dealing with this issue recently. If the family does not want an alarm, then they can take their loved one to a place that is negligent and allows refusal of safety measures.
  9. 4
    We have had almost the same thing happen. Family refused the alarm. (And, fyi, not all families who refuse are uninformed or uneducated, some are simply very aware of what their loved one will be like WITH the alarm on.) Anyway, the night he was admitted, he got up and fell. Broke his arm. We did have a motion sensor alarm in the room, which enabled us to discover his injury right away. No-one was at fault. Refusal of the TABs monitor and education was very well documented and care-planned.
    wooh, maelstrom143, merlee, and 1 other like this.
  10. 5
    The admission nurse as well as all the other nurses that came behind him/her. It is everyone's responsibility to insure safety, the family needed to be educated on the risk and the importance of the alarm as well as this is not a negotiated item. Was the pt AAOX3, what did he/she say about the alarm..If the family/pt refused it should have went up the chain.... An alarm is such a small thing, why on earth would they refuse??
  11. 4
    I would have put a bed alarm on anyway. Safety trumps pretty much everything. We are required to place an alarm on fall risk patients. I honestly don't understand why a family would refuse a bed alarm on their family member. Makes no sense to me. Was the pt A&O?
    doomsayer, TJ'sMOM, Oldest&Ugliest, and 1 other like this.
  12. 1
    If the admitting nurse documented that the family refused (and they had POA) and that he/she explained the reasoning, I don't think I'd necessarily blame the admitting nurse. I would think it's the nursing home's fault for not having any type of protocol in place for a situation like that. I'd at least implement fall precautions (low bed, floor mats, etc). I probably would have also let the supervisor know and left a message for the ADON or DON as well. I don't know if I'd put the alarm on the patient anyway simply because I worked at a nursing home where an alarm was placed on a patient against the family's wishes and it turned into a bit of a mess.
    TJ'sMOM likes this.
  13. 10
    Read the studies. Alarms DO NOT prevent falls. If the family or resident refused an alarm, the nurse should have documented her teaching on whatever safety measures were in place.There is a huge risk of falling shortly after being admitted and other safety measures such as frequent monitoring should be in place.We have no alarms at all in my building and the numbers of falls have not gone up.
    Orange Tree, kabfighter, Jennybrie, and 7 others like this.

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