What Are the Fatal Five in IDD?
There are five major health issues that are commonly linked to preventable death in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) residing in congregate or in community-based settings. These health issues, commonly referred to as “The Fatal Five,” are aspiration, dehydration, constipation, sepsis, and seizures. As more individuals with IDD move into community settings, direct support professionals (DSPs) need to be familiar with these common medical conditions.
Treatment and management of healthcare needs among individuals with IDD can be challenging. Individuals with IDD have unique needs that are not always consistent with those of the general population. Additionally, many of these individuals cannot verbalize symptoms, and behaviors may mask the signs of life-threatening conditions. Therefore, all DSPs, qualified intellectual disability professionals (QIDPs), and registered nurses supporting people with IDD must have an in-depth knowledge of the Fatal Five causes, symptoms and treatments.
The Fatal Five in IDD: Aspiration’s Dangers and Key Interventions
People with IDD have a higher risk of problems swallowing and aspiration (one of the Fatal Five). Find out why and what to do about it now.
The Fatal Five in IDD: How Constipation Impacts Health
Constipation is never fun, but if DSPs know the signs and symptoms of constipation and the other Fatal Five it doesn’t have to be deadly.
The Fatal Five in IDD: Dehydration Signs and Risk Factors
Recognizing the risk factors and signs of dehydration, and the other Fatal Five, can help DSPs keep clients safe and healthy.
Common Questions About the Fatal Five
- What are the Fatal Five?
Dehydration, constipation, aspiration, seizures, and sepsis make up the Fatal Five.
What increases the risk of aspiration?
Difficulty swallowing, difficulty sitting up straight, and eating too quickly are just a few of the risk factors for aspiration. Read more
Why are persons with IDD prone to dehydration?
Many people with IDD experience disruptions in their body’s senses and signals. These individuals might not know they are thirsty. Others may have difficulty communicating thirst or may be unable to get a drink on their own when they need one. Read more.
How can DSPs prevent constipation among the individuals they support?
DSPs should use these 9 tips to help reduce the risk for constipation among the individuals they support, including watching sodium intake, integrating physical activity into the day, and encouraging a well-balanced diet. Read about all DSPs
What should a DSP do to support someone who has seizures?
There are 10 ways DSPs can help to prevent seizures or injuries that can occur during a seizure. These include providing medication support and encouraging the individual to take showers. Read all 10 ways
How can DSPs help prevent sepsis?
There are several ways to help prevent sepsis infections in persons served, including promoting good hygiene and keeping cuts clean. Read More
The Fatal Five Course Sample
In this sample training course, you will learn what these conditions are and how to prevent them. You will also learn how to recognize and respond when they occur.