Falls Prevention Horizon Scanning Bulletin Volume 1 Issue 1


Compression stockings increase falls risk


Source: Nursing Times website

Follow this link for this news story

Date of publication: May 2010

Publication type: News story

In a nutshell: The Medicines and Healthcare Products regulatory Agency (MHRA) have warned that patients wearing compression stockings without any accompanying footwear are at a greater risk of falling. This follows a number of reported incidents.

Length of publication: 1 page

Primary biliary cirrhosis is associated with falls and significant fall related injury


Source: Quarterly Journal of Medicine 103 (3), 153 – 161.

Follow this link for the abstract

Date of publication: March 2010

Publication type: Journal

In a nutshell: This study conducted by researchers at Newcastle University sought to establish the prevalence of falls in patients with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) and associated risk factors. The outcome of the study showed that 72% of patients with PBC experienced a fall with 55% falling within the past 12 months. Postural dizziness, balance and lower limb strength was significantly worse among this group.

Addressing these factors using a multidisciplinary approach could help to reduce the incidence of falls among patients with PBC.

Length of publication: 8 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement: Scientists discover liver disease link to elderly falls, 27 Feb 2010, JournalLive.co.uk

Hospital changes after death of recovering elderly patient


Source: This is Somerset website

Follow this link for this news story

Date of publication: April 2010

Publication type: News story

In a nutshell: Two hospitals in Somerset have implemented changes following the death of an elderly woman who sustained falls whilst she was a patient at both hospitals. Yeovil District Hospital has since upgraded its alarm system whilst West Mendip Community Hospital has changed its policy regarding catheter removal.

Length of publication: 1 page

Trial results of policy to introduce low-low beds to prevent falls


Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2010, 58 (3) p. 435-441

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: March, 2010

Publication type: Journal article

In a nutshell: Hospital based cluster RCT was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of a policy to introduce low-low beds for the prevention of falls and fall injuries on wards that had not previously accessed low-low beds. Findings indicate that policy for the introduction of low-low beds does not appear to reduce falls or falls with injury, although larger studies would be required to determine their effect on fall-related fractures.

Length of publication: 7 pages

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.

Acknowledgement: CINAHL

The ‘How To’ Guide to Reducing Harm from Falls


Source: Patient Safety First website

Follow this link for the report

Date of publication: 2010

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell: Patient Safety First has created a guide on falls prevention for managers and and frontline staff working in acute trusts. Topics include setting team objectives, leadership best practice, reporting and staff training. The report includes case studies and guidance which can be adapted to a variety of settings.

Length of publication: 45 pages

Acknowledgement: Patient Safety: Falls Prevention, 24 May 2010,
Health Service Journal

Interventions for preventing falls in older people


Source: The Cochrane Library

Follow this link for fulltext

Date of publication: February 2010

Publication type: Review

In a nutshell: This review looked specificaly at interventions to reduce falls among older people in nursing care facilities and hospitals. 41 trials were included involving 25,422 participants, three quarters of whom were women. The average age was 83.

The findings related to hospital patients who stayed longer than a few weeks suggested that interventions targeting multiple risk factors along with supervised exercise were effective. Limitations of the review include the small number of hospital studies included and difficulty in determining the outcome of treatments involving multiple components.

Length of publication: Summary (3 pages), Standard report (96 pages), Full report (117 pages)

Further dissemination


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