Biomechanical Evaluation of Injury Severity Associated with Patient Falls from Bed

Authors


John.Lloyd2@va.gov.

Abstract

This study investigated the severity of injuries associated with falling from bed and the effectiveness of injury-prevention strategies. Injury criteria were calculated for head- and feet-first falls from six bed heights onto a tiled surface and floor mat. These values indicated a 25% chance of experiencing a serious head injury as a result of falling feet-first from a bed height of 97.5 cm onto a tiled surface. Risk of injury increased to 40% when extrapolated for the height added by bedrails. Using a floor mat decreased this risk to less than 1% for bedrail height for feet-first falls. Calculated impact forces indicated a risk of skull fracture when hitting the tiled surface. Floor mats and height-adjustable beds positioned to the lowest height should be used to decrease the risk of injury associated with falling from bed.

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