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Adverse Events and Falls

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Abstract

Falls are a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal unintentional injuries among older people. Adverse events are often due to errors that may be preventable and have been well documented in hospitalized patients, in home care, and in nursing homes. Elderly patients are more vulnerable to sustaining an injury after an in-hospital fall, and these falls in general can be prevented. Medications are important risk factors for falls, and medication errors which result in falls are potentially preventable. Adverse drug events (ADEs) are defined as injuries resulting from medical intervention related to a drug. Older patients are four times as likely to develop ADEs as younger patients, and about half of ADEs are preventable. Falls may not only indicate the presence of “something wrong” in an older person (owing to the often multifactorial etiology of falls and atypical presentation of illnesses in the elderly), it can also signal a failure in the healthcare system resulting in decreased patient safety. Therefore, some falls in the geriatric population may be preventable. This chapter will present the total impact of falls and the role of medication use that contribute to falls. Understanding these factors is a crucial first step toward successful prevention of falls.

Keywords

  • Adverse Drug Event
  • Nursing Home Resident
  • Geriatric Patient
  • Fall Rate
  • Proximal Femoral Fracture

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Fig. 7.1
Fig. 7.2

Abbreviations

ADE:

Adverse drug event

AE:

Adverse event

CI:

Confidence interval

DAD:

Discharge abstract database

MHRS:

Mental health reporting system

NACRS:

National ambulatory care reporting system

PFF:

Proximal femoral fracture

RAI-HC:

Resident assessment instrument for home care

SD:

Standard deviation

WHO:

World Health Organization

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Correspondence to Shirley C. C. Huang MD, MSc, FRCPC .

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Huang, S.C.C., Forster, A.J. (2016). Adverse Events and Falls. In: Huang, A., Mallet, L. (eds) Medication-Related Falls in Older People. Adis, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32304-6_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32304-6_7

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