Nationwide time trends and risk factors for in-hospital falls-related major injuries

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Abstract

Background:

Accidental falls during hospitalisation have a range of complications and more information is needed to improve prevention. We investigated patterns of in-hospital fall-related major injuries in the period 2000–2012 and the association between chronic conditions and in-hospital fall-related major injuries.

Methods:

Using administrative databases, patients aged 65+ years with in-hospital falls causing fractures or head injuries with need for surgery or intensive observation were identified as cases and were individually matched with five controls. Joinpoint regression was used to examine time trends and conditional logistic regression was used to analyse odds ratio (OR) for in-hospital falls-related major injuries according to a range of comorbidities.

Results:

Four thousand seven hundred and fifty-four cases were identified from 2000 to 2012 and the most common injury was femur fracture (61.55%). For individuals aged 65–74 and 75+ years, the incidence of in-hospital falls-related major injuries per 100,000 hospital days increased significantly in 2000–2012 (average annual change: 3.2%, CI: 0.6–5.8) and 2007–2012 (average annual change: 11.4%, CI: 5.7–17.5), respectively. Significantly increased OR for in-hospital fall-related major injuries were found for individuals with dementia (OR = 2.34, CI: 1.87–2.92), osteoporosis (OR = 1.68, CI: 1.43–1.99), stroke (OR = 1.63, CI: 1.41–1.88), depression (OR = 1.24, CI: 1.09–1.41), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR = 1.18, CI: 1.01–1.39) and Parkinson disease (OR = 1.17, CI: 1.01–1.34).

Conclusions:

In-hospital falls-related major injuries increased significantly during the study period. Elderly with dementia, osteoporosis, stroke, depression, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Parkinson disease were associated with increased OR for in-hospital fall-related major injuries. Increased focus on patients with these comorbidities is warranted to decrease the increasing incidence in in-hospital major injuries.

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