It’s been estimated that anywhere from 15 to 35 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence, among 400 million people worldwide. Urinary incontinence, whether at a medical facility or at home, can also lead to a number of additional medical issues, lead to high costs for facilities, and more. Let’s look deeper at each of the most significant risks.
- The Risk of Falls
Accidental falls are among the most common incidents reported in acute and long-term care facilities. In fact, according to a report published by Clinics in Geriatric Medicine up to one million patients fall in U.S. hospitals a year. About 25% of those falls result in injury and 10% result in serious injuries. Urinary incontinence is the reason for nearly 50% of those falls, usually when patients get out bed after an accident.
- The Risk of Additional Medical Issues
The medical risks associated with incontinence are surprisingly high. For example, 42% of acute care patients develop moderate to severe incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD), which is shown by lesions, burning, itching, pain and other skin conditions. Urinary incontinence also increases the risk for repeated urinary tract infections, which can result in long-term kidney damage.
- The Risks of Dignity
Let’s face it: urinary incontinence can be embarrassing, resulting in a lower quality of life and a loss of dignity. For that reason many people are reluctant to even admit to having it. According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, one-third of all middle-aged or older women suffer from urinary incontinence, but less than half undergo treatment for it.
- The Risk to Mental Health
According to the National Association for Continence, the constant fear of having an accident in public can severely impact ones mental health, leading to depression and isolation. One study published by the Journal of Urology revealed “a strong association between depression and idiopathic urinary incontinence.” Their study showed that 30% of the incontinence patients tested had a history of depression.
- The Risk of High Costs
Falls, mental health, and medical issues all have a financial impact on medical facilities and caregivers, including lawsuits. Patients with fall related injuries tend to stay eight days longer in hospitals, and the annual cost to treat skin conditions related to incontinence is more than $215 million a year. The yearly cost of medical care directly related to falls from incontinence has been estimated to be as high as $14 billion a year.
The drysmart™ Patient Fall Prevention System Difference
With early warning, hospital staff can intervene before a patient exits his or her bed, reducing the risk of falling. This improves patient outcomes, and frees medical staff to treat other patients. Parasol drysmart™ pads and diapers have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of Incontinence Associated Dermatitis (IAD), as well as Facility Acquired Pressure Injuries (FAPI) and the spread of C. diff. As a result, patient depression and dignity loss is mitigated, and quality of life increased.