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Knowledge Repository

Reducing Falls in a Definitive Observation Unit: An Evidence-Based Practice Institute Consortium Project

Author(s): Gutierrez, F., Smith, K.
A Definitive Observation Unit (DOU) in a hospital in California maintains high standards of nursing and follows an evidence-based practice of fall prevention. Yet the facility’s fall rates continue to be higher than the benchmark for similar hospitals.
Key Point Summary

Influence of pavement design parameters in safety perception in the elderly

Author(s): Zamora, T., Alcantara, E., Artacho, M. A., Cloquell, V.

The force attenuation provided by hip protectors depends on impact velocity, pelvic size, and soft tissue stiffness

Author(s): Laing, A. C., Robinovitch, S. N.

Heights of occupied patient beds: a possible risk factor for inpatient falls.

Author(s): Tzeng, H. M., Yin, C. Y.
The height of occupied patient beds can be an overlooked contributor to inpatient falls. Hospital bed frames are still eight–12 inches higher than those of home bedframes. The difference in heights may contribute to inpatient falls related to getting in and out of bed and to the severity of fall-related injuries. Better physical design of hospital equipment such as patient beds may reduce patient falls and injuries.
Key Point Summary

Cluster randomised trial of a targeted multifactorial intervention to prevent falls among older people in hospital.

Author(s): Cumming, R. G., Sherrington, C., Lord, S. R., Simpson, J. M., Vogler, C., Cameron, I. D., Naganathan, V.
Falls often occur among older people in hospitals, resulting in injuries, increased lengths of stay, and greater costs to the health center. Evidence on the best way to prevent falls in hospitals is limited.
Key Point Summary

Bed and Toilet Height as Potential Environmental Risk Factors.

Author(s): Capezuti, E., Wagner, L., Brush, B. L., Boltz, M., Renz, S., Secic, M.
Approximately 60 percent of all nursing home residents have difficulty transferring out of bed independently. The ability to safely rise to a standing position is an important determinant of independence among older adults. The ability to transfer out of bed from a sit to stand position is dependent on several general patient characteristics such as age, functional status, and disease state.
Key Point Summary

Evaluation of a comprehensive slip, trip and fall prevention programme for hospital employees

Author(s): Bell, J.L., Collins, J.W., Wolf, L., Grönqvist, R., Chiou, S., Chang, W.R., Sorock, G.S., Courtney, T.K., Lombardi, D.A., Evanoff, B.
Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that total slips, trips, and fall-related injuries account for the second greatest proportion (30 percent) of all work-related emergency department visits requiring hospitalization. Since slips, trips, and falls result from a wide variety of circumstances, there are a number of countermeasures with the potential to reduce slips, trips, and fall injury incidents. These include slip-resistant shoes floor surfaces, mats, and waxes, prompt cleaning of spillage and debris, keeping stairs and walkways clear, improving lighting, adding handrails, and clearing ice and snow.
Key Point Summary

A novel night lighting system for postural control and stability in seniors

Author(s): Figueiro, M. G., Gras, L., Qi, R., Rizzo, P., Rea, M., Rea, M. S.
Age-related changes may result in impaired balance control, and thus can lead to increase risk of falls among the elderly. Visual information provides a spatial reference for self-position and location of obstacles within a person’s environment. Lack of this information results in increased body sway. In addition, low ambient light levels reduce postural control. Therefore, this study investigated the effectiveness of a novel self-luminous light emitting diode (LED) night-lighting system that provided linear spatial orientation cues plus low ambient lighting for enhancing postural control in healthy seniors.
Key Point Summary

The Extrinsic Risk Factors for Inpatient Falls in Hospital Patient Rooms

Author(s): Tzeng, H., Yin, C.
A hospital can be a dangerous place for inpatients because of its unfamiliar physical environment and changes in patients’ medical conditions. Some research shows that a better physical facility design leads to better healthcare outcomes, such as fewer patient falls in acute-care hospitals. Eliminating the extrinsic risk factors for inpatient falls by improving hospital environment and design may decrease fall rates and fall-related injuries, although this link has not been examined systematically.
Key Point Summary

Falls, Technology, and Stunt Actors: New Approaches to Fall Detection and Fall Risk Assessment

Author(s): Rantz, M. J., Aud, M. A., Alexander, G., Wakefield, B. J., Skubic, M., Luke, R. H., Anderson, D., Keller, J. M.
One in every 3 people aged 65 or older falls each year, making falls the most common cause of trauma-related injuries and hospitalizations in older adults and the leading cause of death due to injury. In addition, falls are often the prelude to rapid functional decline, costly hospitalization and rehabilitation services, loss of independence and physical function, and even death. Despite healthcare providers’ efforts at prevention, falls among older adults continue to be a critical and costly problem. Clearly, new methods are needed to address this issue.
Key Point Summary