Hospital security & patient falls


I recently encountered a patient fall partially r/t hospital door not alarmed. Patient was an 86 y.o. female who's POA was activated & experiencing D.T's from ETOH withdrawal. Pt attempted to get out of bed every 10-15 min. even after receiving Librium and ,Lorazepam as per hospital protocol. The Tech forgot to turn on her bed alarm before leaving her room. 10 minutes later patient walked down hall,passed thru 2 hospital doors (which weren't armed). Pt was found by the tech,who heard the patient yell outside the door lying on the ground. Patient had only a laceration on elbow. When I called maintenance as to why the alarm wasn't on the door, he said it depends if the alarm toggle switch was in the ON position. When I looked @ the panel & said no lights were on- either yellow or red - his response was " Not all the lights work anyway. You'll have to open the door to see if its alarmed. Had the door been alarmed, the patient wouldn't had fallen or gotten outside. Manager said it was nursings fault & not maintenance. What are your opinions?


449 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, Orthopedics.

The bed alarm should have been on. That was your first line of defense. Sure, if the door alarm were on, the patient wouldn't have gotten out, but if the bed alarm were on, the patient probably wouldn't have made it out of bed. it REALLY about whose fault it is?!?!

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

How is it no one saw this patient wondering the hall? As others have said you neglected to make sure your bed alarm was activated.. or if you're depending on a door exit alarm you should have made sure that was also working.

It's your fault for not obtunding the patient and placing them in crisscrossed 4-point restraints with poseys and a lap belt.