A KidneyBuzz.com viewer wrote, "Yesterday my husband blacked out from Dialysis and the heat. BANG! He hit his head very hard right on the floor. Now he keeps having headaches. Do y'all think he should go to the hospital?"
Patients undergoing Hemodialysis are at high risk of falls, with subsequent complications including fractures, loss of independence, hospitalization, and institutionalization. Factors associated with falls are poorly understood, but may have to do with weakness and severe fatigue experienced by Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis, especially during the hot summer months. Although weakness and fatigue are often considered similar terms, they are not. While weakness refers to a lack of strength, fatigue is tiredness, low energy levels or lethargy (lack of energy and enthusiasm). Beyond the fact that weakness and fatigue can cause depression, anxiety, and tension, falls specifically put Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients at risk of serious injury and even death. Although Chronic Kidney Disease patients may never fully mitigate against weakness and fatigue due to Dialysis Wipeout/Washout (exhaustion after Dialysis Treatments), they may utilize the following tips to better manage side effects and limit falls.
"One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury," said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More shockingly, Learnnottofall.com suggested that 12,800 people die every year as a result of falls. Some simple ways to help prevent falls include:
- Keep rooms free of clutter, especially on floors
- Use plastic or carpet runners
- Wear low-heeled shoes
- Do not walk in socks, stockings, or slippers
- Be sure rugs have skid-proof backs or are tacked to the floor
- Be sure stairs are well lit and have rails on both sides
- Put grab bars on bathroom walls near tub, shower, and toilet
- Use a nonskid bath mat in the shower or tub
- Keep a flashlight next to your bed
- Use a sturdy step-stool with a handrail and wide steps
- Add more lights in rooms
- Buy a cordless phone so that you don’t have to rush to the phone when it rings and so that you can call for help if you fall.
If a patient falls and suffers from a fever, pus in wound, extensive redness, swelling or an open wound that does not close, then s/he should promptly see a doctor.
Recommended Reading: When Is Low Blood Pressure Too Low For Chronic Kidney Disease And Diabetic Patients?
The following is a list of simple ways that Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients can help combat weakness and fatigue throughout their days and increase their "life energy" to improve their quality of life and further limit falling and injury:
1. Breathe - Take a moment right now to take a deep inhale of life-giving oxygen all the way in through your nose and exhale toxins out. Each breath helps to cleanse the body and nourishes our cells to assist with increased energy levels.
2. Get some fresh air - This simple act can help restore energy and even improve restfulness.
3. Smile - It has been proven that when we smile and laugh, we actually change our body chemistry and boost energy. Try it throughout the day. Smile for no reason: By yourself, when talking on the phone, texting or writing a message. Not only will it make you feel good, you will likely feel revitalized.
4. Take the "work" out of workout - We all know that exercise is essential to our well-being, but often we put so much pressure on the act of “working out” that it is not enjoyable. Just what we need…more “work”, right? Lighten up! Take a walk, play with a pet, have fun with your kids, enjoy a light activity with a friend or spouse or by yourself. Do safe activities that make you feel happy.
Do you suffer from severe weakness and fatigue? If not, how do you avoid falling and maintain your strength and energy? Let's start a conversation about this important issue by leaving a comment at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and engage with our over 43,000 friends (click here). While you are there, like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly (115,000+) for the latest tailored breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. You may become a regular visitor like, Charles Griffin who said, "Praise God for KidneyBuzz."