Analysis of falls incidents: Nurse and patient preventive behaviours

Authors

  • Maree Johnson PhD RN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Clinical Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health and Science, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Ajesh George PhD,

    1. Senior Research Fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health and Science, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Duong Thuy Tran MIPH

    1. Research Officer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Health and Science, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Maree Johnson, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia. Email: m.johnson@uws.edu.au

Abstract

Johnson M, George A, Tran DT. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2011; 17: 60–66

Analysis of falls incidents: Nurse and patient preventive behaviours

Nurses play an important role in preventing and managing falls in acute hospitals. We analysed 577 hospital falls incidents and found 77% unwitnessed and most resulted in no patient harm (85%). Further qualitative analysis of 40 incidents highlighted a high proportion of falls being related to transferring near the bed unit. Simple messages for nurses working in acute care settings are recommended including ‘high risk activity (transferring, mobilizing) and high risk area (bed unit, toilet/bathroom) is a high risk situation’. A balanced approach emphasizing patient and family education and the use of alarm devices where supervision is not available are suggested. Postfall management by nurses might be contributing to the low occurrence of injury reported in these findings and requires further research.

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