Who, where and why: situational and environmental factors contributing to patient falls in the hospital setting.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian health review : a publication of the Australian Hospital Association, 2003, 26 (3), pp. 79 - 87
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Falls are a significant burden on the Australian healthcare budget and can result in loss of personal independence, injury or death. A sustained high rate of inpatient falls at St George Hospital has made it imperative for nurses to identify those patients at highest risk in order to implement preventive interventions. Ninety-one inpatients fell over a ten-week period, with a total of 118 falls. Our study examined the prevalence of 'intrinsic high risk' characteristics identified in the literature in people who fell during hospitalisation. These results will be reported elsewhere. Extrinsic environmental factors contributing to falls were also identified, including time of fall, activity at time of fall and location of fall. This paper describes and discusses the study findings related to extrinsic risk factors.
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