How do Floor Mats Prevent Nursing Home Fall Fractures?

Nursing home floor mat by the bed prevents broken bones

Is your loved one a fall risk in a nursing home? Wondering what those padded foam cushions are next to their bed? They are floor mats and they are critical to protect your family member if they fall out of the nursing home bed.

State Laws and Regulations Require Nursing Homes to Stop Patient Falls

The law requires nursing homes to assess fall risk and to prevent nursing home falls. Prevention can have many forms. In alert and oriented residents, it may be as simple as placing a call bell within reach by their pillow. However, in dementia residents with confusion, the call bell is ineffective due to forgetfulness. These residents often will get out of bed without assistance, or roll out of bed and hurt themselves.

This is the kind of resident who deserves a floor mat to cushion their fall from the nursing home bed.

Nursing Home Fall Prevention Should Include Floor Mats in Residents Who Roll Out of Bed Spontaneously

Fall mat by a nursing home bed cushions the blow from rolling out of bedA nursing home floor mat does not actually prevent the resident from falling.

Instead, the bedside cushion minimizes the severity of the injury when they inevitably fall from the bed.

This may mean the difference between a fractured hip and a padded foam fall without injury. Studies show that floor mats can reduce the risk of serious injury down to 1% in nursing home residents who fall from lowered beds.

How Fall Mats Can Increase Fall Risk in Certain Ambulatory Nursing Home Patients

Nursing home fall mats are wonderful to cushion the fall of a resident who rolls out of bed. Floor mats also work in weaker residents who try to stand up out of bed and fall immediately. However, in patients that freely walk around their room at night, bedside mats are actually a fall hazard.

Most padded fall mats are approximately 1 inch thick, non-stick and have a low profile, beveled edge. But if a resident has unsteady gait, shuffles their feet and walks around their dark room at night to use the restroom, the 1 inch fall mat may create a tripping hazard that creates a fall. For residents who we allow to walk around and toilet themselves, floor mats are probably contraindicated.

Additionally, for obvious reasons, floor mats should only be out when the resident is sleeping in bed. It is an unnecessary fall risk for nurses to leave the floor mats out if the patient is not in bed.

Floor Mats Can Offer a Sensor in Confused Residents Who Tend to Wander at Night

In addition to protecting from serious injury due to a bedside fall, floor mats also can have an electronic sensor which activates when stepped on.

Similar to a bed alarm, a floor fall mat alarm has a sensor that beeps if the resident steps on the floor mat. This alerts the nurses station that a resident is up, out of bed and attempting to use the restroom alone. Since many fatal nursing home falls occur in the bathroom, this is crucial as it allows the nurses time to intervene before the vulnerable patient tries to sit down on the toilet.

Medical Literature Shows that Nursing Home Floor Mats are Increasingly an Option to Prevent Serious Fractures from Falls

Floor mats are increasingly listed among interventions recommended to protect patients from fall‐related injury, including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Boushon et al., 2012) and national guidelines for hospital fall prevention programs (Ganz et al., 2013; NCPS, 2014). Floor mats are often used for patients who might get out of bed without calling for help and are at risk for injury. In practice, floor mats are used to reduce fall‐related trauma if a patient gets up from bed, loses balance, and falls to the floor. The floor mats should only be on the floor by the bedside when the patient is resting in bed, and they should be placed on the floor on the safest side of the bed for patient exit. Many staff store mats underneath the bed when the patient is not in the bed.

Floor Mat Fall Lawsuit Against the Nursing Home

Suing a nursing home for fall mat negligenceThe lack of floor mats after a serious nursing home fall injury can lead to frustrating questions. If my Dad had floor mats next to his bed, would he have suffered this fall related injury? Why were there floor mats at the other facility, but not this nursing home? Why did I see floor mats the week before, but they were not there when Mom rolled out of bed this time?

At Senior Justice Law Firm, our nursing home abuse attorneys focus exclusively on long term care litigation. We represent families who have lost loved ones due to nursing home negligence. A large percentage of our caseload involves nursing home falls and we almost always analyze the use (or lack) of floor mats.

If your loved one suffered broken bones, a subdural hematoma, or wrongful death due to a nursing home fall, demand answers. Our nursing home abuse lawyers hire some of the country’s foremost expert witnesses to analyze the effectiveness of nursing home fall mats on your parent’s tragic fall.

Free Nursing Home Floor Mat Case Consultation

We can help you obtain justice from the negligent nursing home, and we do not charge any up front fees or costs for doing so. We only get paid if we win your case. Floor mats are a cheap, easy fall prevention technique that takes seconds to implement. If your loved one suffered injury or death due to carelessness of the nursing home staff, call or chat with us today to see how we can help.

Call us now at 1-844-253-8919 or chat with us today.

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