Epidemiology of Hospital System Patient Falls: A Retrospective Analysis

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Abstract

Patient falls are the most common type of in-hospital accidents. The objective of this retrospective descriptive study was to describe the locations and characteristics of hospital-related falls. Data on patient characteristics, including locations and fall circumstances, were collected through incident reports and medical records. A total of 1822 falls were documented at a 921-bed, urban academic hospital center over a one-year period; 1767 (97.0%) of the falls occurred in the hospital setting, 55 (3.0%) in ambulatory care. The majority of falls (80.8%) occurred within inpatient units; the remainder within the greater hospital campus. In all, 73.4% of fallers had fall prevention protocols implemented prior to the fall. The youngest age group (≤49 years) had the highest percentage of fallers. This study provides novel insights into variables found to be associated with falling, including location of falls within the hospital campus, efficacy of fall prevention protocols, and age groups.

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