Investigators from Hospital for Special Surgery have identified factors that are associated with an increased risk of in-hospital falls after total hip or knee replacement surgery. The study, which appears online ahead of print in the Journal of Arthroplasty, may help hospitals design interventions to reduce falls in at-risk populations. Risk factors identified from a national database of patients included undergoing a joint replacement revision surgery and a number of comorbid conditions, such as congestive heart failure.
“This study helps doctors know which patients to look out for,” said Stavros Memtsoudis, M.D., Ph.D., an anesthesiologist at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), who led the study. “Some studies have shown that falls occur when patients get up from their bed to go to the bathroom. While it may be unreasonable to put a helper into every room to help patients go to the bathroom, it would certainly be feasible to identify a smaller group of patients at-risk and focus efforts on them.”
In-hospital falls increase morbidity, prolong hospitalizations, increase health care costs, and sometimes spur lawsuits against hospitals. They can cause wound complications and assorted medical problems that aren’t related to the primary procedure, including concussions. According to published data, in-hospital falls occur in 2% to 17% of patients during short-term hospitalization. While orthopedic surgeries can put patients at risk for in-hospital falls, only two published studies to date have evaluated the risk for these types of falls in orthopedic patients.
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Source: Newswise; Hospital for Special Surgery; Journal of Arthroplasty