Tracking 'near misses' to keep newborns safe from falls

Nurs Womens Health. Jun-Jul 2013;17(3):219-23. doi: 10.1111/1751-486X.12035.


There is an increasing focus to keep newborns in the hospital safe from falls, as reports indicate that infant falls can occur in the immediate postpartum period. Previous reports have identified factors present at the time of newborn falls, yet there is little information on the prevalence of "near misses" or on risk factors present prior to the occurrence of falls. This article describes an innovative project to prevent newborn falls using information gathered about near misses. Most near misses occurred on the night shift, had the mother holding the baby and occurred an average of 52.6 hours after delivery. Collaboration among staff and patients is crucial to address risk factors present during near misses and to ultimately prevent newborn falls both in the hospital and at home.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Obstetric Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Parents / psychology
  • Postpartum Period
  • Program Development
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety Management / methods*
  • Time Factors