SANDS, G. ... et al, 2010. The contribution of environmental factors to elderly in-patient falls in acute facilities. IN: Proceedings of the International Conference on Fall Prevention and Protection, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA, 19-20 May 2010.
In-patient falls have been the biggest single category of reported
hospital patient safety incidents since the 1950s. This may be due to a
combination of patient-related (intrinsic) and environmental factors.
Interventions have mostly followed a series of sequential steps:
assessment; communication; monitoring; patient modification; and
environment modification. This study explored the contribution of
environmental factors in 26 reported un-witnessed patient falls using
staff interviews and location mapping. It was found that the location of
the fall seemed to be associated with the position of the bed rail and that
very few of the patients were wearing shoes or socks at the time of the
fall. In the US, hospitals may not be reimbursed for falls if they are
categorised as ‘never events’ (events that should never occur).