What to Do After Falling in the Shower?

If you are searching for what to do after falling in the shower, you might be in need of urgent help. Many falls occur in and around the shower area because the floors are wet and slippery, and there are hard surfaces all around the place.

A little thoughtful planning and prevention can help ensure your safety as serious falls can easily happen due to the loss of balance in the shower.

What To Do After Falling In The Shower

The first step you should follow right after falling is to relax. Panicking in such a situation can prove hazardous, as it often leads people to make wrong decisions.

It is usually recommended to lie still for a moment and breathe deeply to catch one’s breath. This process helps you to get over the sudden shock of falling. The next step is to evaluate the injury, decide whether you or the patient needs help, and act accordingly.

We hope that this guide will help you with a lot of information and support and help you in a crisis situation. 

What to Do if Someone Has Fallen in the Shower?

Provide Immediate First Aid

The next step, which should be followed immediately after falling in the shower, is to provide the patient with first aid via a first aid kit. A first-aid kit is an essential item for every home, especially if there are children, the elderly, patients with disabilities in the house as they are more injury-prone.

These first aid kits come in very handy to treat small cuts, superficial injuries, burns, and bruises. If the patient is given proper first aid initially, then the injury’s recovery time reduces significantly. For example, if a small cut takes 4-5 days to heal completely without any first aid, the same cut can completely recover in 2-3 days using a first aid kit.

Use Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems have proved to be life-saving devices. These alert systems offer a speedy way for the seniors or the person in danger to get help during an emergency. With a click of a button, these devices alert the members to the person wearing the device.

How a Medical Alert System Works and How to Choose One

There are both audio or visual alerts so that the person in danger can get help as soon as possible. These systems also have a great range due to which they cover a large area, and multiple people in that area can receive the security alert.

Use Patient Lifts

Patient lifts are special medical assistive equipment that can move a patient who has limited mobility from one place to another. Immediately after a fall, if the person cannot move and get up on their own, these patient lifts should be used to assist the patient and lift them and move them to a soft surface such as a bed or sofa where they can lie down and relax. 

These lifts are beneficial in back injuries as the patient is smoothly transitioned from the ground or floor to the lift without aggravating the injury.

Spinal Cord Injury: Hoyer Lift Transfer

Common Types of Injuries After a Slip or Fall

A slip or a fall are prevalent types of accidents that occur very frequently. Unfortunately, some of these slips or falls can be fatal. According to the CDC, about 235,000 people (above the age of 15) visit the ER because of injuries in a bathroom, and nearly 14 percent are hospitalized[1]. There are mainly two types of injuries from a slip or fall:

Fatal and Incapacitating Injuries

These types of injuries are severe, and they need immediate professional medical assistance. Some of these injuries are

  • Spine and nerve damage: It can leave the patient unconscious or even paralyzed. 
What To Do If Someone Has A Spinal Cord Injury - First Aid Training - St John Ambulance

  • Traumatic brain injury: It is often unnoticed, but it is a severe condition that should be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. 
Head Injury Symptoms & Advice - First Aid Training - St John Ambulance

  • Broken bones: They are also a prevalent injury, especially among the elderly, as, with growing age, their bones tend to weaken.
How To Treat A Fracture & Fracture Types - First Aid Training - St John Ambulance

Light Injuries

Different types of light injuries can occur after a slip or fall, such as

  • Sprained ankles or wrists: Generally, these injuries occur due to the body’s collision with the surface and can be cured easily with proper care. 
  • Knee damage or twisting of the knee: This is a light injury in which the ligaments in the knee sustain damage. 
  • Cuts and bruises: They are pretty common in any fall or slip, mostly the cuts or bruises are not very severe and eventually heal over time, but sometimes they can be pretty deep, which may require some medical attention.
Practical First Aid #18 - Sprains and Strains

Equipment to Use After Falling or During Recovery 

Use Bedside Commodes With Large Opening

It can be a painful and exhausting task for the patients who are still recovering from an injury and are bedridden to go to a washroom. A bedside commode with a large opening is an ideal solution for such a problem as they can then quickly relieve themselves without getting up from the bed. They are specially designed to help children and adults who are bedridden, disabled, and are unable to use a washroom independently.

Indiana: Bedside Commode

Heating Pads

The sciatica nerve is the largest in the body, connecting the spinal cord with the skin and the muscles of the foot, the legs and thighs. This nerve can easily sustain damage upon falling in the shower. Heat treatment or therapy is a very effective way to deal with sciatica as the heat improves blood circulation and decreases the muscles’ tension.

A heating pad for sciatica is one of the best equipment to improve the condition of the patient. The best part to relieve the pain from sciatica is the rear pelvis, which is the root cause of this problem.

Heating Pad Vs. Moist Hot Pack Vs. Infrared Heat Review

 

Use Ice Therapy

Ice therapy is also popularly known as cryotherapy. It reduces pain and inflammation caused by an injury or fall by applying extreme cold in the affected area, which numbs the nerves. The inactivated nerves then stop reacting to the sensation of pain and this also reduces inflammation. An ice therapy machine effectively carries out the ice therapy and helps people to recover from injuries.

How Does Icing an Injury Help?

Equipment Which Prevents Falling in the Shower 

Use Safety Mats

There are safety non-slip shower mats available in the market with a unique design and an anti-slip surface. The mat’s anti-slip surface maintains a very firm grip with the floor, due to which it does not move from its place. Moreover, these mats are also very absorbent, as they absorb most of the water on the floor and ensure the user’s safety so that they don’t slip or fall.

Generally, these mats are also very easy to wash and clean due to which the users can maintain the appearance of the rugs and maintain hygiene at the same time.

Ceiling to Floor Grab Poles

The ceiling to floor grab poles is specially designed for patients with less stability, the elderly, and people with disabilities. It is a sturdy and firm pole that you can easily grab onto to maintain their balance and ensure safety.

Generally, these poles are beneficial during the transition phase when the user is sitting from a standing position, and vice versa. Most people are vulnerable to slippage during this phase. One can also use these poles to step over the bathtub ledges, shower ledges, and so on.

Using Transfer Poles and Grab Bars

Wear Proper Footwear

The patients must wear proper footwear, which prevents them from falling on wet and slippery surfaces. There are special anti-slip slippers and shoes available in the market. These slippers have a unique outsole with engraved flexes. These flexes maintain a very firm grip on all kinds of surfaces.

This kind of footwear is very suitable for wearing in the kitchen and bathrooms. The non-slip shower shoes are water-resistant and are quick-drying made from high-quality materials. These types of shoes have a very snug fit due to which the user can maintain their balance and stability.

Use Privacy Locks

There are many cases in which the patient locks themselves in a bathroom, and in case of emergencies such as falling or slipping in the bathroom, someone needs to help and aid the patient. Generally, it is challenging to get into the bathroom if the doors are locked from inside.

Privacy locks are particular locks specially designed for such situations as they can be opened from outside if needed. These locks are effortless to pick and can be helpful in emergencies. Homes with elderly and children must install these locks. These locks are mainly suitable for indoor use, such as bathroom or bedroom doors.

Keep CPR Training Kits at Home

A cardiac arrest is a very sudden situation that can happen and occur when it is least expected, so it is always beneficial to be prepared and have a home CPR training kit. CPR is the process of giving artificial ventilation and chest compressions to the patient. It seems to be quite simple but requires formal training to work efficiently, which the people can get through the training kits.

In the case of a fall, many patients start hyperventilating because they tend to panic. Panic is the worst enemy of the patient as it can worsen the situation. Homes with CPR kits can give proper medication and attention to the patient, which can prove essential in some cases.

What To Do After Falling In The Shower

Toilet Safety Equipment and Products

Toilet Seat Risers

Toilet seat risers are special assistive devices placed above the toilet seat to increase its height so that the patients who have low mobility, stability, and knee and hip problems can use the toilet. These toilet seat risers generally have armrests that you can use for extra support, which may prevent you from falling or slipping on wet surfaces.

Safety Bathtubs

The safety bathtubs are very different from the traditional bathtubs as they have an inward fitting door with a walk-in design. Due to this design, patients don’t have to climb the tub to get in. These bathtubs often have self-sealing doors that prevent the water from spilling out.

There are unique chairs in these bathtubs, which are very useful as they can easily sit and bathe, which significantly decreases the chances of slipping and falling. They also have additional handlebars and hand grips to ensure the full safety of the user.

OT-V Episode 4: Bathroom Safety

Bath Lifts

A bath lift is a power lift that generally raises and lowers the patient in and out of a bathtub. Mostly they are operated with a hand-held pendant remote. The bath lift is ideal for those who have difficulty moving around, such as the elderly, plus-sized people, people with disabilities, or users with injuries.

This lift is beneficial for the patients during the phase of getting in and out of the bathtub as most of the slipping and falling accidents happen during this phase. During this phase, it is challenging for the injured to maintain their balance as they have to step over the bathtub ledge in most cases.

Sliding Transfer Swivel Chairs

The sliding transfer swivel chairs are unique chairs with four legs, where its two legs are kept inside the bathtub, and the other two legs are kept outside it. Then the patient can sit in the swivel chair, which has a 360° rotation feature. Then the user can put one leg over the bathtub ledge followed by the other leg. The patient can carefully sit in the bathtub with the sliding chair without putting themselves at any risk.

The Best Way to Use a Bathtub Transfer Bench

Conclusion

Falling in the shower is a prevalent accident, but it can have very devastating outcomes as well. With a little bit of prevention and preparation, you can avoid or reduce their occurrence significantly. The above article tells the readers how they can prevent falling in the shower, what they should do, and which equipment they should use immediately after falling, and what gear will help them recover from the injury quickly. 

References:

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6022a1.htm