Falls are one of the commonest and most damaging of accidents that can happen to a patient.
Many drugs can increase the risk of falls. The more drugs you take, the greater the chance that one or a combination of them will make a fall more likely to happen. Some medications are well known for side effects that increase a person's risk of falling.
Each year, somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000 people in the United States fall in the hospital. A fall may result in fractures, lacerations, or internal bleeding, leading to increased health care utilization. Research shows that close to one-third of falls can be prevented.
Falls among adults age 65 and older are very costly. Each year about $50 billion is spent on medical costs related to non-fatal fall injuries and $754 million is spent related to fatal falls.
Each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year.
During a hospital stay, older adults often experience decreased mobility while confined to their rooms or beds. This may increase the risk of functional decline, poor functional outcomes after discharge, and hospital readmissions.
Ways that you can reduce the risk of falling during a hospital stay include staying in bed or staying seated. Caregivers can make sure that you have easy access to things you need like the care light, the phone and water.
Falls are a common and devastating complication of hospital care, particularly in elderly patients.
Each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
Treating fall injuries is very costly. In 2015, total medical costs for falls totaled more than $50 billion.1 Because the U.S. population is aging, both the number of falls and the costs to treat fall injuries are likely to rise.
Balance disorders aren’t common in kids and teens, but might happen more than we realize. Symptoms can be missed or blamed on another cause. Kids with balance problems might seem clumsy or uncoordinated. They may have trouble walking, riding a bike, doing schoolwork, or playing.
Additional Information on Falls
Serious complications can result from a hip fracture. A patient may have to remain in traction for a specified period of time after surgery. Blood clots can occur in the veins, usually in the legs. If a clot breaks off, it can travel to a blood vessel in the lung. This blockage, called a pulmonary embolism, can be fatal.
Use this checklist to find and fix hazards in your home.
Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education and Advocacy (CPSEA) is dedicated to raising awareness about patient safety through education, advocacy, and support.
We envision a world in which the patient's voice is heard and no one is harmed by healthcare.