Ruby Red Socks employed to help prevent patient falls in hospital

The Broken Hill Health Service is invoking the power of ‘Ruby Red Socks’ to help prevent hospital patients from having a fall and reduce the risk of serious injury.

The hospital is implementing the ‘Ruby Red Socks Falls Prevention Program’ which involves providing patients with non-slip Ruby Red Socks.

Jane Cain, ASET Nurse, Aged Care in Emergency, said the Ruby Red Socks Program is specifically designed to empower patients and their friends and family to help reduce their risk of sustaining a serious injury in hospital.

“All inpatients are risk assessed for falls and non-slip socks are to be offered as an alternative if a patient does not or cannot wear safe footwear, especially High Fall Risks and Confused Older Patients,” she said.

“The non-slip socks are a bright, visual warning to staff and visitors that the patient is at risk of falling, so that appropriate care can be taken.” They are a visual reminder for staff to identify high falls risk patients and are physiotherapist designed and clinically tested.

It has been estimated that one third of people over 65 years and half of people over 80 years suffer at least one fall per year. In Australia 38% of all hospital patient incidents involve a fall. The Ruby Red Socks Falls Prevention Program was developed at St Vincents and Mercy Private (SVMP) in Victoria in response to the growing issue of falls in Australian hospitals. A pilot has already proven the red socks to significantly reduce falls within its hospitals.

Ms Cain said the Ruby Red Socks Program was one way the Falls Prevention Committee is providing education to staff, patients and carers about the risk of falling.

“Falling may prolong a patient’s hospital stay or recovery period. Raising awareness about falls prevention will hopefully reduce the number of falls whilst patients are in our hospital.”

The non-slip socks will also be available from the Hospital Kiosk for $4 a pair, if families wish to purchase them for their relatives.



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