Falls Associated With Central Nervous System Medications
As many as half the residents in skilled nursing facilities are involved in a fall. Falls associated with certain central nervous system medications seem to have more severe result results, leading to fractures or concussions.
Providers and physicians need to remember that under the new regulations residents now need to approve their goals when they have the capacity to do so. The care plans no longer belong exclusively to the facility, now they belong to the resident.
It is the providers responsibility to educate the resident, the families and the care givers about the potential risk associated with central nervous system (CNS) medications. they must be shown the benefits of non-pharmacological approaches such as topical NSAID’s.
Prior to starting any new central nervous system medications a complete assessment is needed, particularly if the resident has a history of falls. this should be a team approach which not only includes the resident and the professionals as well as their families when ever possible.
Families and residents need to be shown the availability of non-pharmacological alternatives, at least as the first step in finding a suitable medication. Let them know that arthritic pain can be with medications such a Lidocaine patches and NSAIDS.
There are many references to be found on the web including handouts and in some instances webinars on this topic. Reducing falls, reduces empty beds, reduces emergency admissions to the hospital and discomfort for the patient and family. The quality of care is enhanced and patient satisfaction, which is becoming more important will be improved. Everything a provider can do to eliminate re-admissions to the hospital will benefit the facility, the resident, the family and the bottom line of the organization.
The staff must be educated with these facts so that they buy into the plan as early in the process as possible.
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