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Physical deficits

23) What should I do/not do following a fall?

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What should I do following a fall?

  • Check for injury - Start at the head and work down the body looking for pain, bleeding,any obvious signs of broken bones,tenderness or bruising. Is the person confused? Have they had another stroke? Think back to the FAST information.
  • If possible move from danger - Make the area safe by removing objects and making space.
  • Use solid furniture to help - Furniture which does not move easily could help the person to try to get up if they are not injured - see the film clip.

What should I NOT do following a fall?

  • Rush to get them up - This could make the situation much worse. You could both be injured.
  • Get them up even if they have hurt themselves - Use caution and get help. You can make the person as comfortable as you can using pillows, cushions and blankets until help arrives.
  • Pull them up by their affected arm - This is likely to cause more damage to a weak arm and shoulder. This can also be extremely painful and is unlikely to be effective in getting the person up from the floor.
  • Get them up quick, don't worry about yourself - Your health is important too. Know your own limits. No health professional would expect a small lady to be able to move a large man for example.
  • In a confined space - drag them to a bigger room. - If the person has fallen for example in a bathroom you may not be able to get to them easily, they may have fallen behind the door blocking it. Never attempt to drag someone across the floor. It could injure both if you. Go for help.

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What should I do following a fall?

  • Check for injury – Start at the head and work down the body looking for pain, bleeding,any obvious signs of broken bones,tenderness or bruising. Is the person confused? Have they had another stroke? Think back to the FAST information
  • If possible move from danger – Make the area safe by removing objects and making space.
  • Use solid furniture to help – Furniture which does not move easily could help the person to try to get up if they are not injured – see the film clip.

What should I NOT do following a fall?

  • Rush to get them up. – This could make the situation much worse. You could both be injured.
  • Get them up even if they have hurt themselves. – Use caution and get help. You can make the person as comfortable as you can using pillows, cushions and blankets until help arrives.
  • Pull them up by their affected arm. – This is likely to cause more damage to a weak arm and shoulder. This can also be extremely painful and is unlikely to be effective in getting the person up from the floor. 
  • Get them up quick, don’t worry about yourself .- Your health is important too. Know your own limits. No health professional would expect a small lady to be able to move a large man for example.
  •  In a confined space – drag them to a bigger room. – If the person has fallen for example in a bathroom you may not be able to get to them easily, they may have fallen behind the door blocking it. Never attempt to drag someone across the floor. It could injure both if you. Go for help.

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