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Renal wins national falls prevention display competition

Staff winners

The Falls lead for the commission, Sandy Blake (left), who visited Waikato DHB to view the winning display, with the unit’s charge nurse manager Nicky Hagan.

Waikato DHB’s Regional Renal In-centre Dialysis team is this year’s winner of the national Health Quality & Safety Commission’s April Falls display competition. The winning entry, created by nurses Mary Go and Jean Barnard and Bryden Ortega, focused on a common cause of falls in their unit – postural hypotension after dialysis.

Staff with falls prevention display

Bryden Ortega and Jean Barnard with their falls prevention display board.

Postural hypotension is a drop in blood pressure (hypotension) due to a change in body position (posture) when a person moves to a more vertical position: from sitting to standing or from lying down to sitting or standing. The change in position causes a temporary reduction in blood flow and therefore a shortage of oxygen to the brain. This leads to lightheadedness and, sometimes, a “black out” episode, a loss of consciousness – and in general more potential for someone to fall.

The display board is in a prominent position at the unit’s entry, and has had excellent engagement from patients, families and staff.

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