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Fall injuries and entrapment – Reducing the risk of injury

On a yearly basis, nearly 40 million cases of fall injuries become serious enough to require medical attention. A surprisingly large number of these injuries afflict patients already in hospital care.

In addition, the vast majority of these falls have been documented to occur around the bed. Fall injuries are amongst the most serious problems in hospital care today. Somewhere between 700,000 to 1,000,000 people suffer from fall injuries each year in the US alone(1), and observational studies show that 60–70% of all falls in hospitals occur from the bed or bedside chair(2). Economically, the direct health costs for falls in Canada are estimated at $2 billion annually(3) and more than $34 billion in the United States(4).

The use of side rails as a means of protection is increasingly being questioned, with many hospitals and governments taking action to legislate against their use. One of the main arguments is the risk of entrapment, although the use of side rails has other long-term consequences. Between 1985 and 2013, the FDA received 901 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in hospital beds(5). The psychological impact of side rails is also significant as they contribute to the deprivation of patient dignity, and sometimes even worsen symptoms of anxiety and nervousness in patients suffering from dementia or other mental problems.

Increased patient surveillance is another way of circumventing the problem, but this comes a very high cost, while still not guaranteeing patient well-being. Crash mats offer a different approach by going from prevention to limiting the injuries inflicted by the fall.

However, crash mats also lead to other issues, such as the risk of infection, the inconvenience and time required for removal and maintenance as well as potentially creating a trip hazard for the caregiver. If the bed only descends to a height of 20 cm (8 inches), its use will lessen the risk of injury but will not eliminate the results of the impact.

To reduce the possibility of fall injuries you need to reduce the impact force of the fall. Adding a mere 5cm (2 inches) in floor to bed height, the impact force increases by 50%. From 20cm, the height of most “low” beds, the result is a 100% increase in the impact force when compared to falling from 10cm floor level6. This small difference in height can mean the difference between a bruise and a hip fracture. A true floor level of less than 10cm from the ground lets the patient roll out of bed, if they are determined to do so.

In addition to functioning at a floor level, floor level beds should also raise up to 80cm (31 inches) from the floor, creating an optimal working height that reduces the risk of back injuries for caregivers.

The cost of investing in a floor level bed is many times less than the average cost of treating one single fall injury in a hospital environment. A reduced number of fall injuries translate into significant cost savings, and the use of floor level beds greatly enhances both the dignity and quality of care for patients at risk of being exposed to fall injuries.

1) Source: Learn not to Fall,
2) Source: The Medical Journal of Australia / Oxford journals,
3) Source: Preventing Falls: From Evidence to Improvement in Canadian Health Care, Accreditation Canada,
4) Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine, Article: Falls Costs U.S. Hospitals $34 billion in Direct Medical Costs,
5) Source: FDA, US department of Health and Human Services.
6) Source: Study by Dr. George Zaphir, Australia

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Product Launch: New accessory kit for the neXus

Express your personality with our new accessory kit. Available in three striking colours of blue, purple or tartan, the kit allows you to customize your neXus to your personal choice. The new soft bag easily fits onto your existing brackets and comes with a zippered cover to protect your belongings as well as allowing easy access. Just place the new, extra comfortable padded back strap over your existing backrest, and close the snaps. The new handle will add the final touch to your rollator and match your new accessories perfectly. Let us help you make your rollator as individual as you are!

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Product launch: New rollator Leia

Human Care is proud to introduce Leia, a completely new series of modern rollators for those who place high demands on both design and function. The rollator has been designed by leading industrial designers and is available in three different colors and three heights to allow you to find something that suits you.

Thanks to the patented cross folding that enables big walking space the new Leia offers the best possible walking pattern which is easy on both back as well as shoulders. Leia has low weight and is very easy to maneuver while also offering maximum stability.

Contact us or your local sales representative for more information or for orders!

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Product launch: New Back Belt Sling, Single patient use

Human Care is pleased to announce the launch of our new Back Belt Sling in single patient use material. The new Back Belt Sling, Single Patient Use is a sling used for raising support and standing practice together with a sit-to-stand lift. The new sling is a version of our reusable Back belt Sling but with a soft and strong cotton in single patient use material and with a Velcro waist belt.

The disposable sling should be used only for one patient and cannot be washed.

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Product Launch: New range of side rails

We are pleased to introduce a new range of side rails for our Floor-level-beds!

Human Care advocates no use of side rails on our beds when the patient is alone or during sleep. However, there are times when the side rails can assist in making handling with patients more safely and efficiently and even reduce the risk of fall injuries for example when the bed is being transported or when turning or repositioning patients.

The new range of side railsperfectly blends in at any hospital or home care environment. They are all collapsible to the side and possible to remove without using any tools which provides maximum flexibility and easy handling. The new side rails also have a rubber cover for a soft touch and feel.

To accommodate every need we now offer three versions of side rails:

  1. Half rail
  2. Three quarter length rail
  3. Split rail (consisting of a half rail and a quarter length rail)

Contact our customer service or your local sales representative for more information.

Human Care’s range of floor level beds aims to prevent fall injuries without the use of restraints. We advocate that side rails should only be used under specific circumstances, when the bed is raised and the patient is being transported or when caring for the patient. When the patient is alone, the bed should be lowered to floor level and the side rails removed to prevent fall injuries, risk for entrapment and ensure the best possible dignity for the patient.

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New sling application videos

We are happy to presents our new sling application videos for our most popular sling models! The new videos are available at our website and describes how to apply the Full body sling, Toileting sling, General purpose sling, Positioning sling, Sit sling, Bath sling and Basic sling.

We hope that these new videos will help you to easily understand how our slings should be applied. Please contact us if you have any questions about our slings or our new videos!

Click here to access the new sling application videos!

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Human Care USA Receives Prestige Order for Lifting System Equipment.

Medical equipment company Human Care has received an order for the production and delivery of lifting system equipment from the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas who’s building a new premier teaching hospital and Dell Medical School at the University of Texas. Installation will begin in the 2nd quarter of 2016.

Human Care has global leadership in the design and manufacture of advanced healthcare equipment solutions for the medical aid market and continues to attract new and existing customers around the globe. For the last ­couple of years Human Care also has been one of the leading suppliers to Ascension Health, the largest non-profit health system in the United States, making lifting system installations in more than 15 hospitals.

“Human Care USA is excited and proud to have been awarded the Purchase Order to supply the lifting system equipment for this new teaching hospital,” says Kenny Gallagher, CEO of Human Care USA.

Teaching hospitals serve a unique role. They are distinguished from other hospitals by their mission to train new doctors, conduct clinical research, and discover new treatments and cures.

Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas will anchor an exciting new downtown health district, adjacent to the new Dell Medical School and research facilities that are also under construction. Human Care is honored to be a part of this landmark partnership between Seton, The University of Texas and Travis County’s Central Health to bring more doctors and better care for all in the Central Texas area.

For further information, please contact:
Human Care USA,
Phone: +1 512 476 7199
Fax: +1 512 476 7190
info.us@humancaregroup.com

Human Care produces and provides mobility solutions for people with special needs. Our 20 years of experience is reflected in a broad selection of premium products offering high customer value and satisfying every customer need. Our U.S. headquarters are located in Austin, TX. Our parent company is in Stockholm, Sweden, with sub­sidiaries in Canada and Australia. In ­addition, we work in partnership with distributors in more than 40 other countries.

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Visit us at Safe Patient Handling!

April 11-13th Human Care will exhibit at the 2016 Safe Patient Handling and Mobility conference in Glendale, Arizona at the Renaissance Hotel. We will show our whole range of lifting solutions products HeliQ including our new fixed lift with a weight capacity of 660 lbs. The new HeliQ lift has a data and service application module that can measure the use of the lift in order to ensure that the lift is being used. This leads to minimized risk of back injuries and increases your turn on investment. The lift also has the possibility for in-rail charging as well as power traverse.

Have a look at this new lift and much more by visiting our booth 106/108 in the Exhibit hall (Medica center).

Welcome!

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Fall injuries and entrapment – Solutions to the problem

The vast majority of all falls that take place in hospitals occur around the bed. Fall injuries are among the most serious problems in hospital care. Somewhere between 700,000 to 1,000,000 people suffer from fall injuries each year in the US alone(1), and observational studies show that 60–70% of all falls in hospital occur from the bed or bedside chair(2). As means of protection, side rails are being more and more questioned. Both individual hospitals and governments have taken actions to legislate against their use, the single most important argument being the risk of entrapment. Between 1985 and 2013, the FDA received 901 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in hospital beds(3).

The psychological impact of side rails is also significant as they contribute to deprive patients of their dignity, and sometimes even worsen symptoms of anxiety and nervousness in patients suffering from dementia or other mental problems.
Increased patient surveillance is another way of attacking the problem, but this comes at very high costs while still not guaranteeing the security of the patients. To adequately monitor patients with fall risks means to increase staffing by
significant numbers.

Crash mats offer a different approach by going from prevention to limiting the injuries inflicted by the fall. But crash mats introduce other problems, chiefly bigger risks of infections using mattresses on the floor right next to medical beds. A second problem concerns the ergonomics for the caregivers. A crash mat adds inconvenience for the staff since it has to be removed or leaned over when caring for the patient, as well as creating a trip hazard.

Using low level beds lessens, but does not eliminate the risk of injury. Patients who are at risk of falling are not protected from the impact of a fall if the bed only descends to a height of 20 cm (8 inches). That distance to the floor – although appearing to be small and harmless – can still lead to serious injuries.

To eliminate fall injuries you need to reduce the impact force of the fall. Starting from a height of only 10 cm (4 inches), if you add 5 cm (2 inches) in height the impact force increases by 50 %. From 20 cm, the height of most so called low level beds, the result is a 100 % increase in the impact force compared to falling from 10 cm or floor level(4).

A true floor level bed will avoid the hazardous drop distance, and eliminate the need for extra monitoring of patients resulting in increased safety and added savings. A true floor level of less than 10 cm from the ground lets the patient roll out of
bed, if they are determined to do so.

In addition to functioning at a floor level, the floor level beds can also be raised up to 80 cm (31 inches) from the floor, creating an optimum working height that reduces the risk of back injuries for caregivers. Using height adjustable floor level
beds improve the ergonomics for caregivers.

The cost of investing in a floor level bed is many times less than the average cost of treating one single fall injury in a hospital environment. A reduced number of fall injuries translate into significant cost savings, and the use of floor level beds greatly enhances both the dignity and quality of care for patients at risk of being exposed to fall injuries.

1) Source: learnnottofall, 2) Source: the medical journal of Australia / Oxford journals, 3) Source: FDA, US department of Health and Human Services. 4) Source: Study by Dr George Zaphir, Australia

This is the third article of a series of three related to entrapment and fall injuries produced by Human Care.

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Fall injuries and entrapment – A major source of injuries

On a yearly basis, nearly 40 million cases of fall injuries become serious enough to require medical attention. A surprisingly large number of these injuries afflict patients already attending hospital care. This contradicts the perception of hospitals and medical centers as being safe and controlled environments. In fact, fall injuries must be considered among the biggest problems in hospital care, as each year somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people fall in the hospital in the United States alone(1).

The vast majority of all falls in hospitals occur around the bed. Many patients become restless during sleep due to certain medical conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and certain mental conditions. These patients often become disoriented or confused while sleeping or upon waking. When these types of situations occur, patients can fall out of bed, causing serious injuries. Observational studies show that 60–70% of all falls in hospital occur from the bed or bedside chair(2). We find different patient groups among those being more vulnerable and more easily subjected to fall injuries. They include persons with psychiatric or mental health problems, patients with age related weaknesses, patients in rehabilitation, stroke patients, Parkinson patients or any in-patient assessed at risk of falling.

In general, injuries sustained from a serious fall have many resulting-effects for both the patient concerned and the hospital or care provider. Apart from extended hospital stay and increased cost, they also have large negative physical and psychological effects on the persons afflicted, ranging from severe pains and loss of self-confidence up to permanent loss of mobility after a bed fall.

The long-term effects of fall injury on an individual patient’s psychological and physical condition are also alarming. A fall injury can be very disruptive for a patient rehabilitating from another disease or condition, and the resulting loss of self-confidence or increased anxiety may in some cases contribute to further complications or even creating a permanent need for long-term care or treatment for the patient.

The use of side rails is debated, and both individual hospitals as well as governments have taken actions to legislate against their use. They can be equally hazardous, especially for demented or agitated individuals who may be harmed by sliding between the rails or attempting to climb over them. In general, side rails impose a risk of injuries due to entrapment, in a few severe cases even leading to a deadly outcome.

Between January 1, 1985 and January 1, 2013, FDA received 901 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in hospital beds. The reports included 531 deaths, 151 nonfatal injuries, and 220 cases where staff needed to intervene to prevent injuries. Most patients were frail, elderly or confused(3).

For more on costs attributed to fall injuries and entrapment in hospital environments, please read our full series of articles on the subject.

1) Source: learnnottofall, 2) Source: the medical journal of Australia / Oxford journals, 3) Source: FDA, US department of Health and Human Services.

This is the first article of a series of three related to entrapment and fall injuries produced by Human Care.

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Meet the humans of human care.

I'm no different from you. I might be older, less agile. My legs are slow but my mind is quick. I have a career. Or maybe I've had one. Either way I'm not slowing down. I can keep up. But some things don't come easy anymore. Small things, and some big ones. Appearance matters, I'm still vain. I'm still happy. I know I need some help, even more than just a little. I don't mind as long as it works. But hey, it is what it is.