We are committed to minimizing or eliminating risks for patient falls at The Pain Center. Preventing falls begins as soon as you are admitted to the clinic and does not end until you are safely in your vehicle following discharge.
There are several key factors that place a patient at risk for a fall:
- Altered mental status or disorientation
- Use of aids such as a cane, walker, wheelchair, or scooter
- History of recent falls (within last six months)
- Recent, unexplained episodes of dizziness or fainting
- Planned procedure that could cause numbness in lower extremities OR that will require moderate sedation
If a fall risk is identified, we will take the following steps to make your stay with us as safe as possible:
- We will place a yellow armband on your wrist. This reminds both you and us to remember to take precautions to prevent a fall.
- We will provide a locked cabinet for you to place your clothes in, and we will store them for you until you are ready for discharge.
- We will use a wheelchair or stretcher to transport you back from the procedure room.
- We will remind you of the importance of not attempting to stand without the assistance of a staff member following a procedure, and we will place a call bell within your reach so you can get help quickly.
- We will assist when you stand and test your weight bearing and balance before discharging you.
- We will offer to help you get dressed. (You may have a family member do this, but remember to stay seated as much as possible when getting dressed after a procedure.)
- We will use a wheelchair to take you to your car at the time of discharge.
Experience has shown that these precautions really do help prevent falls. We ask for your cooperation so we can make sure you don’t experience a fall in The Pain Center.
Patients with Diabetes
It doesn’t matter if you take insulin, oral medications, or no medication at all, if you have diabetes or a pre-diabetic condition, an interventional pain procedure puts you at risk for an elevation in your blood sugar.
The goal of treatment for anyone with diabetes or a pre-diabetic condition is to manage the factors that affect blood sugar (diet, exercise, stress, medications, rest, etc.), so that it remains in the normal range as much as possible. An interventional pain procedure involves a new factor to be aware of and to manage.
Our providers inject a medication known as a steroid, which is a hormone that regulates many aspects of metabolism and the immune system. Steroids are very helpful in reducing the swelling and inflammation that contributes to pain, but they can also block the action of insulin and stimulate the liver to produce extra glucose.
Although we only use small doses of the steroids, we cannot predict how it will affect your blood sugar.
Take the following steps to prepare for any elevation that may occur:
- Be in control before your procedure. Many patients think they are in control when really they are not! Starting two to three days before your visit, please check your blood sugar daily to ensure your medications and/or diet are adequately controlling your condition. If your blood sugar is high, check with the provider who is managing your diabetes for help to get it back in control.
- Be in control the day of your procedure. Take your medications as normally scheduled on the day of your procedure. Check your blood sugar that morning and if it is high, treat it as your provider has advised.
- Maintain control after your procedure. Watch your blood sugar carefully for up to a week after your procedure to identify any elevations. If your normal treatment program is not keeping your blood sugar in control, consult with your provider right away.
We want to ensure a safe course of treatment for you, so if you take medication for diabetes we will do a blood test when you arrive in the clinic. For your safety, if your blood sugar is 250 or higher at the time of your visit, the physician may reschedule your procedure. If you are careful to manage your diet and medications as described above, you should have no problems keeping your blood sugar under control during your care at The Pain Center.
If you have questions, please call (618) 257-5902 and select the option to talk to a nurse.