Targeting environmental factors to reduce elderly in-patient falls

This paper will describe the results from two exploratory studies on un-witnessed elderly in-patient falls in acute facilities. The first study analyzed incident reports from England and Wales between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007 (n=215,784). We found a difference in the location of falls for patients described as frail and those described as confused. This was further explored in a pilot study to collect detailed information about contributory factors and the location of falls through staff interviews. We found that the use of bedrails seemed to alter the location of the fall, with falls from beds with raised rails clustered around the foot end of the bed.