Stop Slipping

Inova Loudoun Hospital incorporates new fall prevention technology

Inova Loudoun Hospital recently  introduced groundbreaking slip  simulator technology. Virginia Tech  first developed the Slip Simulator to help UPS drivers deal with slipping. Inova Loudoun Hospital is the first rehabilitation center in the country to offer this technology to patients.

“It trains your body how to instinctually react to a slip perturbation, so it  will help train our fall-risk population— our elderly population and neurologically involved patients — to train their bodies to help develop these pathways of recovering,” says Anne Blackstone, Clinical Coordinator of Outpatient Specialty Rehab for Inova Loudoun Hospital. “If they find themselves in a situation where they have a slip, they’re able to recover themselves.”

As to how it works, she explains: “An individual is walking along and then all of a sudden, when they don’t know it, the floor slips out from underneath them. The first time you do it, if you weren’t in a safety harness, you would most likely hit the ground, but by the third time you do this Slip Simulator, your body has learned the pathway, and you’re able to recover very easily from the slip.”

These neural pathways created by experiencing and recovering from a  slip are ingrained in your brain for up to two years. Blackstone and the Inova Loudoun Hospital staff, however,  recommend re-training every year, as  a fall prevention checkup, to avoid  losing the pathways.

Stay on Your Toes

Learn more about outpatient specialty rehab at www.inova.org/rehabilitation or call 703-858-6667.