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Western Sydney Local Health District

Falls

Why is this important?

Whilst some falls cause no harm, others can cause serious injury. Sometimes people need to be admitted to hospital as a result of falling and this may lead to lifestyle changes. Frequent falls or fear of falling can impact on confidence to live independently and may lead to a decision to move into residential care.

People fall for a range of reasons including:

  • poor balance
  • poor eyesight
  • medications
  • confusion
  • delirium
  • incontinence
  • unsafe footwear
  • unfamiliar environments
  • obstacles

 Falls can be prevented, even in frail older people

 

How well are we managing falls in Western Sydney Local Health District?

Hospital staff are constantly aware of the risk of patients falling whilst in hospital and work to reduce the chance of falling. In Western Sydney Local Health District our falls incident rate has remained relatively stable over the last five years with a rate of 3.1  fall incidents per 1,000 occupied bed days* in 2015.

 * An “occupied bed day” is an bed where a patient is being treated on a particular day. Occupied bed days are useful when looking at our data because they help us to calculate whether there has been an actual change in performance or whether change might be related to an increase in the number of patients in hospital

 

Falls Prevention in WSLHD: Annual falls rates data

 

The number of falls differs at every facility. The bigger the facility, the more falls there are.

 

Falls Prevention in WSLHD: Falls per facility data

 

What type of injury do people have on falling?

When a person falls in hospital, the incident is classified as either Low, Medium, High or Extreme. The majority of falls result in a very minor injury. Over the three year time period from 2013 to 2015, more than half of the falls incidents in WSLHD did not have an injury or the injury was very minor.

Falls Prevention in WSLHD: Severity of falls data

 

How can you help?

If you feel at risk of falling, you should inform nurses, doctors and other health professionals 

Staying physically active is the single most important thing you can do to remain fit and independent   

You, your family or carer can ask to be included in the development of a falls prevention care plan

 To reduce your risk of a fall injury it is important to include activities that improve your balance and increase your strength.
Please ask health professionals looking after you for more information

 

 

 

 

Further information can be found at:

http://www.cec.health.nsw.gov.au/programs/falls-prevention