Is patient care lacking after a fall?

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

February 2, 2011

A new report published in the January 28, 2011 issue of British Medical Journal has found that after inpatients fall out of bed, they often receive inadequate care.

Researchers analyzed 12 months of reports to the National Patient Safety Agency, concluding that about 200 patients who sustained fractures or intracranial injuries after a fall experiences "shortfalls of care." Such shortfalls included a delay in fracture diagnosis; failure to record neurological observations; using sling hoists to move patients despite symptoms of limb fracture; delay in urgent surgery.

Researchers suggest that caretakers screen for the 1% of patients who suffer serious harm from a fall by checking for symptoms of fracture before moving the patient; using the right equipment to move patients; and ensure that patients receive a detailed medical review with an appropriate timescale.

More suggestions are included in the full report on BMJ.com.