Narcotic administration and fall-related injury in the hospital: implications for patient safety programs and providers. Academic Article uri icon

start page

  • 229

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  • 234


  • Identify factors that predict fall-related injury in hospitalized adults.Retrospective records review.435-bed university hospital.Inpatients with reported falls in 2010.Medical records were available for 286/293 (98%) of reported falls in 251 patients. 25% (63/286) of falls were associated with injury, 4% (11/286) with serious injury. Compared to all fallers, patients with injury did not differ by gender or age. In univariate analysis, patients who reported hitting their head, had pre-fall confusion, or who received narcotics within 24 hours before falling were more likely to suffer injury (estimated odds ratios 6.04, 2.00 and 5.1, respectfully). In multivariate analysis, receiving a narcotic prior to falling was the strongest predictor of injury (estimated odds ratio 5.38; 95% confidence intervals 2.07-13.98, p < 0.001).In this single-institution study, 25% of patients who fell suffered injury and 4% serious injury. Neither age nor gender predicted fall-related injury. Recent narcotic administration was the strongest predictor of injury. Strategies to prevent fall-related injury in the hospital should target patients receiving narcotics. When evaluating inpatients who have fallen, providers should be especially vigilant about injury in patients who have pre-fall confusion, hit their head, or have received recent narcotics.

date/time value

  • 2013

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3233/JRS-130603

PubMed Identifier

  • 24305561


  • 25


  • 4


  • Accidental Falls
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Narcotics
  • New Mexico
  • Patient Safety
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries