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Falls with Injury Change Package

Published: by Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET)

Topic: Falls | Resource type: Change Package

Patient falls – an unplanned descent to the floor with or without injury to the patient – affect between 700,000 and 1,000,000 patients each year 1 and rank among the most frequently reported incidents in hospitals and other health care facilities. Though many inpatient falls cause little or no harm, falls do sometimes lead to severe injuries such as hip fractures and head trauma and are a significant cause of hospital-acquired injury. In acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, anywhere from 3-20 percent of patients fall at least once during their hospitalization. Between 30 and 51 percent of those falls in hospitals result in some injury and 6-44 percent of those injuries are ones that may lead to death (e.g., fracture, subdural hematoma, excessive bleeding). 2 Additionally, among older adults, age 65 or greater, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death, the most common cause of non-fatal injuries and the leading cause of hospital admissions for trauma. 3 Fall risk and the associated injury and cost are challenges both in health care facilities and in the community.

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