Study of falls among hospitalized adult patients

Section: Originals

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Secorún Poncela A, García Borjabad S. Estudio de caídas en adultos hospitalizados. Metas Enferm oct 2020; 23(8):59-65. Doi:


Amparo Secorún Poncela1, Sonia García Borjabad2


1Especialista en Geriatría. Enfermera. Unidad de Cuidados Paliativos. Hospital San Juan de Dios. Zaragoza. Profesora asociada Facultad Ciencias de la Salud. Universidad Zaragoza2Máster Gerontología Social. Enfermera. Unidad de Convalecencia. Hospital San Juan de Dios. Zaragoza

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Amparo Secorún Poncela. C/ Jesús, 2. 50014 Zaragoza.

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Objective: to understand the characteristics of falls recorded in hospital and of the subjects suffering falls, and their causes and consequences.
Method: a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted retrospectively, through the review of falls recorded among patients hospitalized in the Units of Recovery, Neurorehabilitation, Palliative Care, Acute Care, and Day Hospital from the Hospital San Juan de Dios (Zaragoza), between January, 1st, 2013 and September, 30th, 2017. The records of falls reviewed corresponded to 20-to-80-year old patients hospitalized in the above mentioned units during the period of the study (2013-2017), who had suffered one or more falls. Those records with incomplete information were excluded. Records were randomly selected.
Results: falls prevailed among patients with a mean age (SD) of 76 (16) years, admitted to the Recovery Unit (n= 291 falls; 53.7%), with vascular diagnosis (n= 145 falls; 26.8%). Falls were more frequent among patients who required partial or total help (n= 328 falls; 60.5%). In 30.3% of falls (n= 164 falls), the patient had bed safety rails. In 80.8% of cases, patients were taking one or more drugs associated with risk of falls. The majority of falls occurred in their room (n= 395; 72.9%), without company (n= 376; 69.4%), and with the patient at rest (n= 301 falls; 55.5%). In 32.8% of falls (n= 178 falls), the patient had some consequence, though these were mostly mild.
Conclusions: this study has allowed to identify the characteristics of falls, the type of patients who suffer them most frequently, their likely causes and their consequences. It is necessary to promote actions that reduce the risk of falls, because patient safety requires reducing said risk to the maximum, and to minimize their consequences in case these happen.


Hospital falls; adverse effects; patient safety; hospitalized adult

Versión en Español


Estudio de caídas en adultos hospitalizados