Injurious falls continue to challenge health care. Causes of serious falls from the largest health care system in the United States can direct future prevention efforts.
This article analyzes injurious falls in the Veterans Health Administration and provides generalizable recommended actions to prevent future events.
We categorized root cause analysis (RCA) reports and coded injury type, fall type, location, and root causes. We describe interventions during the fall and provide resources for future prevention.
There were 154 reported fall RCAs during this time. Most (83%, n = 128) resulted in major injury: hip fractures (43%, n = 66), other fractures (25%, n = 38), and head injury (16%, n = 24). Most falls were unwitnessed (75%, n = 116).
Patients who fell were not wearing hip or head protection. Most falls were unwitnessed, and none were on 1:1 observation. Such interventions may help prevent future injurious falls.