7 Causes of Hospital Falls: A Preventable Risk

Common Causes of Hospital Falls

Hospital falls are a serious concern that can lead to significant injuries and even death. While they can happen for various reasons, understanding the common causes can help ensure the risk of a hospital fall is limited. Here are some key factors that often contribute to hospital falls:

  1. Bed Rails Malfunctioning: When bed rails are not functioning properly, patients may not have the necessary support to prevent hospital falls. Some patients require bed rails to help them readjust positions or keep them from rolling out of bed. If the bed rails are not installed or not working, this can lead to a fall with serious injuries.
  2. Inactive Bed Exit Alarms: Bed exit alarms are crucial safety tools that alert healthcare staff when a patient attempts to leave their bed. When these alarms are not activated or properly monitored, patients may wander unsafely, increasing their risk of falling.
  3. Placement of High-Risk Patients: Locating patients at high risk of falls in rooms far from the nurses’ station can delay response times. Quick intervention is vital to prevent hospital falls, especially for those who require immediate assistance.
  4. Inadequate Fall Risk Assessment: A poor or incomplete assessment of a patient’s fall risk can lead to insufficient preventive measures being used. Thorough assessments are essential to tailor care plans to each patient’s specific needs. Hospital fall risk assessments should be completed regularly and updated as needed.
  5. Unanswered Call Buttons: Patients may attempt to get up independently if their call button goes unanswered. This can result in dangerous situations, especially for those who require assistance with mobility. Unfortunately, this is one of the most prevalent complaints we hear related to hospital falls.
  6. Lack of Supervision for High-Risk Patients: Allowing high-risk patients to move about without proper supervision significantly increases the likelihood of hospital falls. Close monitoring and assistance are crucial, especially if patients are getting out of bed or using the restroom.
  7. Inadequate Staffing During Transfers: Transferring or moving patients, whether from the bed to a chair or to another department, requires sufficient staff to assist. Without proper support, patients may attempt to move on their own, leading to hospital falls.

Preventing hospital falls requires thorough assessments, proper equipment maintenance, attentive monitoring, and adequate staffing. Healthcare facilities must prioritize patient safety by implementing protocols to address these common causes of falls.


At our firm, we understand the devastating impact hospital falls can have on patients and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a preventable fall in a hospital setting, we are here to help. Contact us for a consultation to discuss your legal options and pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.


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