Patient Fell: Am I At Fault?


I took a patient to the restroom and I was wiping her when she fell on me. She was a fall risk and had difficulty walking, but that is normal for her. My chart said she was a one person transfer with a gait belt and walker and I had her use her walker correctly so we got to the restroom with no problems.

But, as I was wiping her, she fell to the side and I couldn't get to her in time to ease the fall. It was that fast. There were no injuries, but she was in pain. I stayed with her until other CNAs came and got the nurse.

The nurse declared that the resident could no longer walk on her own and was now a full mechanical lift. I was visibly upset and my supervisor told me not to worry after I filled my incident report and go home (I was toileting her in the last five minutes of my shift), but still...

I worry that maybe I had her stand up for too long and should have had her rest more while toileting her. Or maybe I could have done something different. Another CNA told me that she was always wobbly and that she pressed her hand on the small of her back when she noticed her struggling in order to keep her standing straight. Should I have done that?


230 Posts

Even with the proper equipment, Sometimes some falls just cant be prevented. Don't beat yourself up.


15 Posts

Thank you... I wasn't doing too good when I just got hired. I started PRN a month ago, but was transferred to the Alzheimer's Unit a couple weeks ago. I was doing a lot better, but this happened...


112 Posts

Were you using a gait belt when this happened?

From your description, changing her to a full mechancial lift sounds like a bit of an over-reaction. I could see making her a two-person assist for toileting so one person could help her balance while another helped with clothing management and hygiene.


15 Posts

Yes, I had the gait belt on.

They actually changed her to a two person assist as needed so I guess that was their thoughts too after the incident passed.


56 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric specialty. Has 3 years experience.

Something's are unpreventable, they just happen. You can only learn from it and move on, don't dwell it things you can't change