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עמוד בית
Wed, 15.07.20

Original Articles


Falls in Stroke Patients, Risk Factors and Risk Management

Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Atzmon Tsur, MD and Zvi Segal, MD.
IMAJ 2010: 12: April: 216-219
Abstract

Background: Falls are common events among hospital inpatients and constitute a major health problem in the rehabilitation setting. Many risk factors for falls have been identified for stroke patients, such as muscle weakness, medication side effects, hypoglycemia, hypotension, etc.

Objectives: To assess the risk factors for falls among patients hospitalized for rehabilitation following acute stroke.

Methods:  In a retrospective study of 56 falls over a period of 5 years in 41 stroke patients hospitalized for rehabilitation we surveyed the nurses’ safety risk assessment of the fall. Thirty patients fell once, 9 patients twice and 2 patients four times. The data were obtained from the medical and nursing records. Safety precautions were taken by the nurses for the entire group of patients.

Results: Most of the falls occurred among male patients who had reduced muscular tone (70%), paralysis (54%) and/or hypoesthesia in the involved side of the body. Patients who suffered from hemiplegia fell more often than those with hemiparesis (Wilcoxon rank sum test, P = 0.04, one-sided). Forty-eight percent of the falls occurred during the first month after the last stroke onset, 70% during the morning or the afternoon, and 62% occurred close to the patient’s bed. In 89% of falls the patients used hypoglycemic, antihypertensive, tranquilizing or neuroleptic drugs. Communication disorders (29%), hemianopia or blindness (21%) and visuospatial agnosia (18%) were incremental risk factors for falls. Fifty percent of the falls were caused by either an intrinsic or extrinsic mechanism.

Conclusions: These data suggest that the group of stroke patients at risk for falls in a rehabilitation department can be identified by a variety of impairment and functional assessments. The information may be potentially useful for designing interventions directed at reducing fall frequency among stroke survivors.
 



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