Fewer fractured hip falls in hospital

  • 11/04/2018
A fall can be devastating for older people.
A fall can be devastating for older people. Photo credit: Getty

The number of people falling and breaking their hip in hospital is decreasing.

Data from the Health Quality & Safety Commission shows between September 2014 and September 2017 there have been 107 fewer in-hospital falls resulting in fractured hips compared to historic trends.

The commission's Sandy Blake says this trend is encouraging, and testament to the commitment shown by district health boards and other providers to reducing harm from falls.

"These results are important and should be celebrated because hip fracture is the most common serious fall-related injury in those over 80 years old," she said.

A fall can be devastating for older people, she said, making them fearful of falling again, which can stop them doing the things they used to do.

"A fall can be particularly distressing when it occurs in a care setting like a hospital. However, many can be prevented through a combination of awareness and individualised care.

"Most falls happen when people are getting in or out of their bed or their bedside chair, or going to the bathroom, so patients need to take extra care at these times and ring the bell if they need help."

Ms Blake said the reduction in the number of patients falling and breaking their hip in hospital has saved around $5 million over three years.

"This figure includes the cost of longer hospital stay, and also considers the additional cost of diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation."

NZN