12/16/2018
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Injuries from Falls and Immobility

Summary


In hospitals and other health care facilities patient and family falls are among the most frequently reported incidents. Unlike some other types of adverse events, many inpatient falls cause little or no harm, but the high overall rate of falls means that they are a significant cause of hospital-acquired injury. Falls can sometimes lead to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head trauma.

Immobility is a decrease in the amount of time spent up and moving (getting out of the bed or chair and walking, for example). Immobility causes loss of muscle strength along with changes in the cardiac response to exercise. Immobility in the hospital increases the chances of delirium, pressure ulcers, venous thromboembolism, falls, and functional decline. Functional decline is the loss of the ability to perform activities that ensure a person’s independence, such as walking, getting to the toilet, and dressing. Functional decline leads to increased lengths of hospitalization and readmission.


Resources


Partnership for Patients - Injuries and Falls from Immobility

Injuries from Falls and Immobility Change Package

Falls Risk Assessment: A Foundational Element of Falls Prevention Programs

 

For additional resources, please visit the HRET-HEN Website.