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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


ALIAGA, Braulio et al. Risk of falls among patients admitted to a medical-surgical ward. Analysis of 376 medical records. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2018, vol.146, n.7, pp.862-868. ISSN 0034-9887.


Detecting patients at risk of falls during hospital stay is of utmost importance to implement preventive measures.


To determine the frequency of patients with a high risk of falls admitted to a medical-surgical ward. To assess the preventive measures implemented.

Materials and Methods:

Review of medical records of 376 patients aged 20 to 97 years (28% older than 70 years) admitted to a clinical hospital in a period of four months.


Eleven percent of patients had a history of falls, 50% had a sensory deficit, 68% had unstable gait, 8% had a neurological risk condition, 8% had drowsiness or disorientation, 4% had psychomotor agitation or delirium, 86 % used high risk medications, 73% used 2 or more high risk drugs and 72% were using devices that decrease mobility. One hundred forty-one patients (38%) had a high risk of falling. The mean age of the latter was 77 years, 89% had a sensory deficit, 96% had unstable gait, 4% had psychomotor agitation or delirium and 98% used high risk drugs. Less than 1% had a medical prescription of a caregiver, physical restraints or antipsychotics, however, 21% of patients had a caregiver.


The percentage of patients with a high risk of falling is important. The main risk factors were sensory deficit, unstable gait and the use of high risk medications. The low frequency of preventive measures prescriptions is striking.

Keywords : Accidental Falls; Delirium, Risk Factors; Inpatients.

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