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Postpartum Safety: A Patient-Centered Approach to Fall Prevention

Lockwood, Suzy RN, PhD, OCN, CHPN; Anderson, Kandace BSN, RNC

MCN, American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing: January/February 2013 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - p 15–18
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e31826bae4b
Feature: CE Connection

Abstract: Falls in the perinatal setting have received minimal attention and have not been well documented. Women are at risk for falling following vaginal or cesarean birth, especially during initial attempts at ambulation. Recently, a women's hospital that averages over 500 births per month recorded a postpartum fall rate that exceeded the national mean for adult surgical patient falls. A fall prevention team (FPT) of five nurses was formed with a goal to decrease the incidence of postpartum patient falls to zero within the following 7 months. A patient-centered fall prevention strategy was developed. The results of this project have laid the foundation for additional research of a program that will consider not only prevention of falls in a healthy population but also the development of a risk assessment tool specific to women in the immediate postpartum period.

A fall prevention team was formed to decrease the incidence of postpartum patient falls.

Suzy Lockwood is a Professor of Nursing at Texas Christian University—Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Fort Worth, TX. She can be reached via e-mail at s.lockwood@tcu.edu.

Kandace Anderson is a Nurse Supervisor, Postpartum at Baylor All Saints Medical Center, Andrews Women's Hospital, Fort Worth, TX.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

For 18 additional continuing nursing education articles on safety topics, go to nursingcenter.com/ce.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.