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Prevention of falls in a geriatric ward

Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore 26(3): 266-270

Prevention of falls in a geriatric ward

Falls occurring in the hospital are significant events because of the injuries sustained, extended hospital stay and potential medicolegal implications. We conducted a 3-year study to determine the characteristics of fallers in a geriatric ward and assess the effectiveness of lectures and nursing assessments in the prevention of falls. In the first year of the study we found that the rate of falls was 9% of all patients admitted. About 85.7% of falls occurred at the bedside and 41.4% happened while getting in and out of bed. Most falls occurred between 4 pm and 8 pm and half of the fallers had no preceding symptoms. In the second year, a series of lectures and educational material were given to the same nursing staff and the prevalence of falls was reduced to 7% (P > 0.05). However, the implementation of a nursing assessment protocol in the third year of the study achieved a marked reduction in prevalence of falls to 5.9% from the initial 9% (Chi-square chi 2 = 4.19, P = 0.04). Thus, the vigorous administration of a nursing assessment protocol can reduce falls in a geriatric ward.

Accession: 009242333

PMID: 9285014

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