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Prevention of Falls in the Hospitalized Elderly Patient - Book Report/Review Example

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Prevention of Falls in the Hospitalized Elderly Patient

Despite all these efforts over these years, estimates prove that still a significant number of elderly falls are reported in hospital settings. This work intends to look into the various works and studies on the reasons behind falls in hospitalized elderly population and various methods devised by various scholars to predict the possibility of falls and to control it. Thereafter, the study intends to propose a new, multifaceted approach based on the light of the analysis. Literature Review The economic cost and demography of falls Many scholars acknowledge the fact that elderly falls are a significant clinical issue and an outgrowing economic burden. For example, Sartini, Cristina, Spagnolo, Cremonesi, Costaguta, Monacelli, Garau & Odetti (2010) identified the fact that the average cost for fall-related hospitalization is Euro 5479.09. In addition an article that appeared in the US Newswire dated 13 March 2008 looks into the financial aspects of elderly fall. According to the revelation in the article, 35% of American people aged 65 and over fall every year. The study makes the alarming observation that about 16,000 elderly people died of fall between 1999 and 2005. In addition, the annual expenditure on treating the elderly for fall-related issues is calculated at more than $ 19 billion. Also, it is predicted that this amount would reach about $ 44 billion by the year 2020 (U.S Newswire, 13 March, 2008) The importance of devising a suitable strategy is clear. Another study by Mamun and Lim (2009) looked into demographic information, circumstances and time of fall, and medication use in a group of 298 hospitalized elderly patients who fell. The study found that the average age of the elderly people who fell was 75.8 years. In addition, more than 60% of them were males. Moreover, it was observed that most of the fallers had a history of fall. In other words, the ones who had a history of fall are more likely to fall again. Similarly, Gowans (2008) looked into the commonality of elderly falls and opined that 35% of the people above 70 will fall every year. In addition, there comes the opinion that females are twice as likely as men to have osteoporosis, and hence, to break a bone when fall. Thus, all these scholars consider elderly fall as an important issue that deserves attention. Causes of falls A look into literature proves that all researchers generally agree on the reasons behind falls in hospitalized elderly. Some common reasons found in the studies are the use of medication that affects the central nervous system, dementia, impaired vision, medication, environmental hazards, poor balance, poor cognition, and environmental hazards. A significant finding by Mamun & Lim (2009) was that elderly people who are on hypnotic drugs, cough medicine, and anti-platelets are at a higher risk of fall. Also, there is the conclusion that possibility of falls can be reduced through the timely use of analgesics like paracetamol to reduce pain. Similarly, the study by Nabeshima, Hagihara, Hayashi, Nabeshima, S & Okochi (2007) based on the theory that falling in elderly people is the result of the interaction of various risk factors identified various risk factor combinations that lead to fall in elderly people. It was identified in the study that a combination of risk factors like non-bedridden condition, dementia, and medication like tranquilizers or sleeping drugs is the most risky combination. Another significant study that looked into the reasons and solutions of ...Show more

Summary

Falls in hospitalized elderly population has become a problem of serious concern in these days. There are many studies that look into the economic cost of falls, factors that trigger such falls, the steps that can be adopted to control the falls, the possibility of fall in different ethnographic groups, and successful prediction of the possibility of fall in elderly using various tools…
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