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Falls Risks: Assessing Internal and External Risk Factors — Part 2

There are two risk factors that should be considered when assessing falls. They are ‘internal risk factors’ and ‘external risk factors.’

Internal risk factors refer to the patient’s own risk for falls. These include:

  • History of falls (especially within the past two months);
  • Age (falls increase with age)
  • Hypotension, which can cause dizziness;
  • Cognitive decline;
  • A patient being on multiple medications, which may cause interactions that could lead to falls;
  • Psychotropic medications greatly increase the risk of falls;
  • The use of medical items like oxygen tanks, catheters, or other tethered items which could cause tripping and falls;
  • Osteoporosis increases the risk of injury from falls

External risk factors refer to environmental factors that increase the risk of individuals falling. These include:

  • Wet or cluttered floors and pathways;
  • The type of floor surface (concrete, linoleum, tile, etc.);
  • Foot wear used;
  • Distance to bathroom;
  • Height of toilet;
  • Bathroom layout;
  • The lack of bathroom grab bars increases the risk of falls;
  • Poor lighting;
  • Incorrect bed height

This is the second part of a four-part series on fall traumatic falls injuries in nursing homes.  To see the first part, click on the link below:

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic  injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse  in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law  Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost,  no-obligation consultation.