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Fall from hospital bed kills elderly woman

Fall from hospital bed kills elderly woman

Published: 08 Sep 2012 13:21 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Sep 2012 13:21 GMT+02:00

An elderly woman died from the injuries she sustained after falling out of her hospital bed at Sundsvall’s hospital in northern Sweden, where more similar falls have occurred recently.

The incident occurred earlier this summer. The woman had been put up in the internal medicine ward, and the staff had judged her to be at high risk of falling, and her bed rail was therefore to remain in place.

However, the elderly woman demanded to have the bed rail removed. Later that same morning, she fell out of bed and broke her hip, and later died from her injuries, reported local newspaper Dagbladet.

Just a month earlier, in May, two elderly women in the same clinic were injured in similar ways. The two women, both in their mid-eighties, sustained broken bones from their accidents.

All three falls have now been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in accordance with Sweden's Lex Maria, the informal name for regulations governing the reporting of injuries or incidents in the Swedish health care system.

“We’re working intensely to try to reduce these types of accidents,” Margareta Lundkvist, head of the internal medicine clinic, said to Dagbladet.

During the autumn the clinic is planning to hold team training about how to prevent falls, according to Lundkvist.

“Entirely preventing these types of accidents is nearly impossible,” she said.

The National Board of Health and Welfare has set a goal for the country’s hospitals: no more than five fall accidents per 1,000 patients.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:25 September 8, 2012 by willyinstockholm
This is a sad story about the quality of service swedish medical care offers to the people. Recently. I have heard several stories that are happened in swedish hospitals.

Personally, I think the swedish hospital system is ill-organized and fat. There are lots of paper work just to make an appointment. In my opinion most of the doctors and nurses don't really care about the patients. Where they really think they get their salaries. Isn't from taxes of the old women who cleans the streets in midnights and other hardworking people....
00:06 September 10, 2012 by johnny1939
you certainly risk your life being in a Swedish hospital. You really have to watch out for yourself to survive. It is hard to believe that the Swedish system is sooo admired through the rest of the world. I read in the paper that it takes 10 weeks in Gothenburg to get the result of a pap smear back and then it is often wrong anyway.
04:45 September 10, 2012 by jimfromcanada
We have similar problems with this situation in Canada. There is a tension between securing a demented person in their bed, and thereby violating their rights, and having them fall out of their bed and injure themselves. Alternatively, there are alarm systems to alert staff when patients make a move to get out of bed, but staff has to be close enough to react in time.
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