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Postoperative Patient Falls on an Orthopedic Inpatient Unit


Postoperative Patient Falls on an Orthopedic Inpatient Unit

Duncan B Ackerman et al. J Arthroplasty.


We are not aware of any data looking specifically at inpatient falls in an orthopedic ward. We reviewed all postoperative orthopedic patients who fell during 2003 and 2005 on a single postoperative orthopedic unit. Seventy patients (1%) fell, resulting in 2.5 falls per 1000 musculoskeletal inpatient days. Most (n = 45, 64%) were bathroom related, were unassisted (n = 54, 77%), and occurred during the evening or night shift (n = 46, 66%). Thirteen (19%) patients acquired an injury as a consequence. Female sex (odds ratio [OR] = 1.9), patient age greater than 65 years (OR = 1.7), prolonged admission (OR = 1.7), and admission for primary or revision knee arthroplasty (OR = 5.0) were all significant risk factors for a postoperative inpatient fall. This information has provided us with some insight to direct the development of a fall prevention program specific to postoperative orthopedic patients.

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