The four-year study, led by the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, analysed 2,343 reported falls and fractures in five municipal homes to find out how they related to fall risk assessments and the use of safety belts, wheelchairs and sleeping pills.
Researchers analysed incidents affecting 743 males and 1,908 females ranging from 40 to 105 years of age, with an average age of 72. All had been diagnosed with a physical illness or dementia and some suffered from both.
The researchers found that people using certain drugs were much more likely to experience a fall. Sleeping pills and anti-depressants made people 1.4 times more likely to fall, neuroleptics (antipsychotic drugs) made them 1.9 times more likely and sleeping pills with benzodiazepines (sedatives) made them 2.9 times more likely.
“In Sweden the use of medication has increased during the past ten years” explains lead author Edit Fonad RN MNSc from the Department of Neurobiology at the Institutet.
“Nine per cent of the population are aged 75 years or more, yet this group accounts for a quarter of the medication prescribed in the country. On average, this age group consumes six to 10 different types of medication.”
People who were in wheelchairs, or who had been assessed as a fall risk, were much less likely to fall. The fall risk was assessed as 0.7, with 1.0 being the normal average. Bed rails reduced this risk even further to 0.5 and the risk when belts were used was negligible at 0.09.
“Patients are often restrained for reasons that remain unclear and more often as a matter of routine rather than a reaction to a specific situation” says Edit Fonad. “These actions are often justified by concerns for patient safety or behaviour control.”
However, the authors point out that in using restraints healthcare professionals should take into account the need to maintain the patients’ independence if possible and the fact that restraints can themselves cause injuries.
“It is impossible to prevent every single fall and we cannot rule out the fact that freedom-restricting measures will continue to be used in the care of older people” concludes Edit Fonad.
“Our results suggests that freedom-restricting actions cannot eliminate falls totally, but they might be protective when used selectively with fewer sedatives, especially benzodiazepines.”
Annette Whibley | alfa
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences