Factors Associated with Falls in Hospitalized Adults

Factors Associated with Falls in Hospitalized Adults

Background Study

The purpose of carrying out this study is to investigate the intrinsic or extrinsic variables associated with fall in the elderly hospitalized adults. Fall, being the most common form of safety incident within the hospital environment of hospitalized adult in patients is an issue that brings much concern to the caregivers, doctors, nurses, family members and the affected patients (Sarofim, 2012). The study will aim at finding answers to the following questions:

  1. What factors affect and influence patient’s fall?
  2. How does patient fall influence their economy?
  3. How can patient fall be prevented?

The research is designed to answering the above-stated questions and finding the relation of the same to the statement of the study.

Method of Study

The learning was carried out in a hospital. The methods of data collection emphasized were qualitative. Questionnaires were used to collect information from random patients. The team involved recorded data about the hospital’s facilities and staff number. The quantitative methods included data collection from the count of medical equipment, number of stairways and their hand rail conditions, number of served patients and the number of nurses available to tend to the patient’s needs. The qualitative methods included analysis of the hospital’s facilities and how the equipment may be directly related to posing risks of falling of patients (Sherrington, Tiedemann, Fairhall, Hopewell, Michaleff, Howard, Clemson & Lamb, 2016). The study included finding out what type of light is used, how luminous it is, the steepness of the stairs, wideness of doors, how far above the patient’s beds are raised and the type and quality of medicine the hospital offered.

Results of Study

According to the research carried out, two main factors influence the fall of the elderly patients. The fall of the patients was found to affect their financial needs since they had to pay for treatments of injuries incurred during the risk (Sherrington et al., 2016). The two major factors are the intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Intrinsic Factor

Intrinsic factors are the variables that arise within the patient’s body. The variables may be brought about due to the existence of a specific ailment or disease within the patient’s body. The major and most dangerous cause of intrinsic factors is medication. According to DK and Kiely (2012), sedated patients tend to be dizzy and may lose balance easily and fall. Cardiovascular medication needed in the treatment of structural heart diseases tend to contribute to falling of patients too (Sherrington et al., 2016). Visual impairment is another factor that affects falling of elderly patients. As the patient are at an older age, their bifocals and trifocals can lower the range of site to about 18 inches, which would increase the risk of falling. Howe, Rochester, Neil, Skelton & Ballinger (2011) claim that balance and posture of the patient can well affect the fall of the patient, especially if the patient is known to suffer from diseases such as stroke, neuropathy, or neuromuscular diseases. The outcome of the named illnesses might cause unbalance and result in falling off of the patients.

Extrinsic Factors

Extrinsic factors are the variables that are outside the patient’s body. The factors are more environmentally related but do affect the balance and falling of patients in hospitals (Howe et al., 2011).

Related researches show that poor lighting is one of the external factors that could lead to patient’s fall. The low luminance of existing light sources can prevent patients from identifying hazardous areas and therefore pausing the risk directly to the patient. As the elderly eyesight is not strong, low lit areas within the hospital pose a great danger as it may cause their falling (DK & Kiely, 2012). Slippery stairs with inadequate handrails pose a high risk to elderly patients. As the cleint are old the patients are weaker and could tumble down the stairs due to its slipperiness. This is a threat to their life. The steep stairs also stance a significant risk to patients since they are not able to take substantial steps easily. According to Sarofim (2012), the lack of walking sticks and grab bars within the hospital’s vicinity is another cause of patient fall. The required and recommended equipment for walking is good since it can help improve stability but if they are not well distributed or they are not distributed at all, the risk of fall of patients becomes high.

Ways in which the Findings might be used in Nursing Practice

The results of the research is useful in the study and practice of nursing. It is important to understand the factors that may affect falling of patient. The involved nurses scheme ways in which they can prevent the risks of falling from occurring (Sarofim, 2012). The knowledge of which kind of medicine can cause dizziness and loss of balance such as sedatives will help the prescribing nurse to include bed rest for the patient in the prescription to preclude the risk of falling from occurring (Howe et al., 2011). According to American Geriatrics Society (AGS), all the elderly patients should be screened for previous events of falling. The same continues to add that subsequent falls can be directly linked to the history of falling and should be a factor that should be considered by nurses in their practices and even during their education curriculum.

 

 

Ethical Considerations

The America Nurses Association approved the study. It was carried out in their presence. The research considered the privacy of its respondents to the asked questions and their identity remained anonymous. The respondents provided information regarding the treatment within the institution. It was noted that there is no lack of medication or treatment within the hospital. The medications and treatment provided by the institution were found to be of high quality. The respondents did not mention any cases of issues arising with the lack of therapeutic drugs.

Conclusion

There is a substantial need to understand the factors associated with falls in hospitalized patients by nurses. The nurse’s work is to play the role of providing medical care services. The practitioners must be knowledgeable of the named factors and how to prevent the risk occurence. The knowledge obtained from the research can be freely applied to avoid the risk of falling from occurring. The same will significantly reduce the number of patient falls annually and eventually trim the costs incurred by the patients and their families during the treatment of incurred injuries from the occurred risks. Conclusively, there is a significant amount of knowledge that can be deduced from this study including the medication precautions, improvement of hospital facilities and screening patients to prevent falling off of the old patients.

 Reference

Sarofim M (2012). “Predicting falls in the elderly: do dual-task tests offer any added value? A systematic review.

Howe, T. E.; Rochester, L; Neil, F; Skelton, D. A.; Ballinger, C (2011). “Exercise for improving balance in older people.”

DK & Kiely (2012). “Identifying nursing home residents at risk of falling.”

Sherrington C, Tiedemann A, Fairhall NJ, Hopewell S, Michaleff ZA, Howard K, Clemson L, Lamb SE (2016). “Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community.”

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