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Falls prevention in hospitals – the last frontier
Falls in hospital remain the least researched area of falls prevention, with a recent Cochrane review identifying that only multifactorial interventions, and supervised exercise interventions reduced falls in this setting.1 In contrast to falls prevention research in the community setting, most of the successful randomised trials reported in this review included all hospital patients – those with and without cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment is now well recognised as an important risk factor for falls in hospitals.2
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This study utilised a retrospective audit of electronic falls incident report data over 4 years in an acute hospital. At the time of reporting a fall, nurses classified a dominant issue contributing to the fall. Presence of mental status deficits (termed cognitive impairment in this commentary) was one of 23 dominant issues the nurse could list based on …
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