Avoiding Slips and Falls

Accidents, like slips and falls, happen, especially in hospitals where patients are often weak and in an unfamiliar environment. Many situations in the hospital can increase your risk of falling, such as:

  • Certain medications
  • Conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or a seizure disorder
  • Feeling weak, dizzy or losing your balance
  • Problems with your eyesight or hearing
  • Feeling unsteady walking or numbness in feet

In fact, falls are among the most common adverse occurrences reported in patients age 65 and older. Many of these injuries require a longer hospital stay.

We're committed to helping patients avoid slips and falls. We carefully monitor how often and why patients fall in the hospital. This information is used to make safety improvements. 

You can help prevent slips and falls too. Here's how:

  • Don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Try to call for help before your need becomes urgent.
  • Always ask for help from the nursing staff if you need to get out of bed or use the bathroom, especially at night or if you have an IV line.
  • Keep your call-button near you, and don't be afraid to use it.
  • When moving about, make sure there is enough light to see.
  • If you use eyeglasses, keep them near you and use them you get out of bed.
  • Never climb over bed rails.
  • When getting out of wheelchairs or using a walker to stand up, make sure the wheels are locked
  • Wear slippers or shoes with rubber soles to prevent slipping
  • Let a staff person know about any fluids or objects on the floor that could cause a fall.

For more information on fall prevention, visit:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on falls prevention.

Communication is Key

Many of the tactics and tips above rely on clear communication between you and your caregivers.

If you need help communicating, have a family member or friend listen with you when a diagnosis, treatment, test result or discharge plan is being explained. Translation services and hearing-impaired assistance are also available any time of day or night, at no cost to you.