Falling over & knots

The social care – health care ratio is tipped towards more hospitalization and less independence, especially in older age.



I hate it when one of my patients falls over on the ward. Each time this happens, I feel as if I, somehow have personally failed to keep them safe, safe, when they are unwell and at their most vulnerable.

It is true, that people falling in hospital is complex, it is equally true that we can do lots to reduce the likelihood of falling – close observation, avoiding dehydration, proper footwear (special grippy red stocking slippers if no shoes in Doncaster), eating and sleeping well, treating infections, monitoring for postural hypotension – when an individual’s blood pressure drops when they stand-up (the opposite is meant to happen), reviewing medicines, and on and on.

Many of the people who fall on my ward shouldn’t be in hospital – they aren’t actually ill. Although I still refer to them as patients, for they are under my ‘care’ and are experiencing the…

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