To describe falls causing injury, types of injuries, and the reporting of these falls.
Administrative and incident reporting datasets between July 2012 and June 2017 were analyzed.
Using both datasets, 5,653 falls were identified (3.7 per 1,000 bed-days). Administrative and incident datasets accounted for 40.8% (2,299) and 84.4% (4,752) of falls, respectively. More than half the falls in the administrative data required only observation/examination (1,221 falls; 53.1%, 0.8 per 1,000 bed-days). The remaining 1,078 falls (46.9%; 0.7 per 1,000 bed-days) caused 1,533 injuries (1.0 per 1,000 bed-days). Most injuries happened in patients who were 65 years or older (73.9%), during the first episode of care (79.0%), in the acute care setting (70.4%), or on the same level (60.1%). The most common injuries were to the head (33.3%). Some injuries were serious (169; 11.0%; 0.11 per 1,000 bed-days). Falls resulting in injury in older patients, with a more severe medical condition and at smaller hospitals, were more likely to be recorded in the incident reporting system whereas subsequent falls were less likely to be recorded.
Fewer than half of the falls recorded in administrative data resulted in injuries. A tenth of all falls caused serious injuries.
Clinical Governance Unit, Nepean Blue Mountain Local Health District, Sydney, Australia
Epidemiology, Executive Medical Services, Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, Australia.
For more information on this article, contact Lieu Thi Thuy Trinh at Lieu.Trinh@health.nsw.gov.au.
All authors received salary from affiliated Local Health Districts. No external funding was received.
L. T. T. Trinh designed the study, applied for ethics clearance, obtained data, analyzed data, wrote the manuscript, and is the corresponding author. H. Assareh provided advices on design and comments on data analyses and writing, edited the final manuscript. M. Wood contributed to the design of the study, provided advices and comments on data analyses and writing, edited the final manuscript. C. Addison-Wilson provided advices and comments on data analyses and writing, edited the final manuscript. Y. Sathiyaseelan contributed to the design of the study, provided advices and comments on data analyses and writing, edited the final manuscript.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.