Twigs and Falling

Publication Date: 
Tue, 11/08/2011
By: Alere Staff

Hazards for patients on warfarin can include a twig no bigger than the size of a pencil! If you are a patient living in areas where deciduous trees drop their branches following a wind or thunderstorm, consider these small hazards represent a falling risk. Recently a patient (5mg per day) stepped on a small twig and nearly fell down a slate stairway.

Stepping on a twig is much like stepping on a pencil; the foot rolls on the piece of wood. You are encouraged to keep patios and walkways clear of debris including twigs. As a rule, anytime your home experiences wind, heavy rain or a thunderstorm, pathways should be quickly evaluated and cleared.

While this incident didn’t result in a fall; the patient could have suffered a life-threatening injury had he fallen and hit his head. As a patient on warfarin, you need to pay particular attention to walking paths–inside or out.

You may not have problems with sticks and branches but may instead have grandchildren who leave pencils or magic markers on the floor creating an immediate falling risk.

Whether sticks, pencils or markers, the cause of the fall is preventable, but the result of a fall may be irreversible.