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Spotlight Case April 2003 Coagulopathic Patient with Subdural Hematomas Falls out of Bed webmm.ahrq.gov.

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Presentation on theme: "Spotlight Case April 2003 Coagulopathic Patient with Subdural Hematomas Falls out of Bed webmm.ahrq.gov."— Presentation transcript:

1 Spotlight Case April 2003 Coagulopathic Patient with Subdural Hematomas Falls out of Bed webmm.ahrq.gov

2 2 Source and Credits This presentation is based on the April 2003 Medicine Spotlight Case See the full article at CME credit is available through the Web site –Commentary by: Sidney T. Bogardus, MD; Yale University School of Medicine –Sidebar by: Brian Liang, MD, JD, PhD –Editor, AHRQ WebM&M: Robert Wachter, MD –Spotlight Case Editor: Tracy Minichiello, MD –Managing Editor: Erin Hartman, MS

3 3 Objectives At the conclusion of this educational activity, participants should be able to: –List risk factors for falls in hospitalized patients –Understand appropriate use of restraints –Identify system issues contributing to falls in hospitalized patients

4 4 Case: Patient Falls out of Bed A 42-year-old man with alcoholic cirrhosis, coagulopathy, thrombocytopenia, and history of subdural hematomas from falls was admitted with new bilateral subdural hematomas. Neurosurgery service drained these via burr holes. In first week of hospitalization, patient received 45 units of fresh frozen plasma to keep INR below 1.5 and to minimize chances of expansion of his subdural hematomas. The patient improved and was transferred from the ICU to the step-down unit.

5 5 Subdural Hematoma

6 6 Epidemiology of Falls Common in elderly patients – 35%-45% of people >65 fall each year Increased risk in nursing home residents – >50% of residents fall annually Higher injury rate in institutionalized patients – Up to 25% result in need for hospital care Anon. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001;49:

7 7 Risk Factors for Falls Intrinsic – History of falls – Mobility impairment – Muscle weakness – Visual deficits – Cognitive impairment – Postural hypotension – Agitation – Urinary frequency – Depression – Arthritis – Age>80 Anon. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001;49: ; Tinetti MA, et al. NEJM. 1988;319: Nevitt MC, et al. JAMA. 1989;261: ; Oliver D, et al. BMJ. 1997; 315:

8 8 Risk Factors for Falls (cont.) Extrinsic/Environmental – Medications – Poor lighting – Loose carpets – Agitation – Urinary frequency Anon. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001;49: ; Tinetti MA, et al. NEJM. 1988;319: Nevitt MC, et al. JAMA. 1989;261: ; Oliver D, et al. BMJ. 1997; 315:

9 9 Case (cont.): Patient Falls out of Bed The patient was identified as being a fall risk. The following precautions were taken: – Bed rails up – Bed in lowest possible position – Call light immediately accessible – Patient told explicitly: “Call nurse if you need anything” – Patient placed in area with many nurses nearby – Bed alarm activated

10 10 Case (cont.): Patient Falls out of Bed The patient stated he did not want to be restrained. The next evening, the patient attempted to climb out of bed by squeezing between his bed rails, and fell to the ground.

11 11 A Patient Caught in Bedrails

12 12 Strategies for Fall Prevention Multifactorial interventions – Education of staff – Review and modification of medications – Exercise and balance training – Modification of environmental hazards

13 13 Strategies for Fall Prevention (cont.) Specific interventions – Bed alarms – Moving patient to room near RN station – Sitter for agitated patient – Placing patient’s mattress on the floor – Chemical restraints – Physical restraints

14 14 Use of Physical Restraints Substantial evidence indicates that restraint use can harm patients Use of physical restraints does not stop injury Use of restraints may increase injury Bed rails may be hazardous

15 15 Case (cont.): Patient Falls out of Bed The patient was found on the floor with no sign of injury. He agreed to be placed in a Posey overnight. Two days later, he was transferred to the medical ward. The nurses identified him as being at “very high risk” for falls and thought he should be placed in restraints, but he adamantly refused. Because the staff believed the patient to be competent, they did not feel they could restrain him against his will. No psychiatric evaluation was requested.

16 16 Medicolegal Issues in the Use of Physical Restraints Most accreditation groups strongly recommend against use of restraints Physical restraints that result in injury may lead to law suit – Standard malpractice negligence rule – General negligence rule Sidebar: Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

17 17 Medicolegal Issues in the Use of Physical Restraints (cont.) Restraint use against a patient’s wishes – Professional assessment deems patient a risk to himself and/or others – Consider psychiatric evaluation for competency – Document all findings and assessments clearly Sidebar: Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD Sheline Y, et al. Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law 1993;21:321-9.

18 18 Case (cont.): Patient Falls out of Bed That evening, the patient fell for a second time while trying to get out of bed. He was found on the floor, bleeding from his mouth. There were no new neurological findings. A repeat head CT showed no increase in the size of the subdural hematomas. The lip laceration was stitched and the patient was placed in restraints, over his objection.

19 19 Root Cause Analysis Floor nurses not aware of patient’s previous fall in the step-down unit Efforts to put the patient closer to RNs failed due to a lack of bed availability No high volume bed alarms available – Bed alarms in use inaudible at RN station Sitters not available due to budget restrictions

20 20 Cost per Intervention Forty-five units of FFP —$5,085 Repeat head CT —$1,150 Physical restraints —$2.50-$10.75 Loud bed alarm—$270 each, 1-time cost Sitter/day—$360 Relocation of patient —$0

21 21 System Improvements Enhance communication – Bracelets to identify patients at high fall risk – Checklist—risk factors reviewed on sign out Maintain mobility – Balance risk of falling with benefits of activity – Avoid cascade of functional decline Seek financially feasible alternatives – Sitters—solicit family members – Reserve beds near RN station for at-risk patients

22 22 Take-Home Points Falls are common in hospitalized patients Patients should be screened by assessing intrinsic and extrinsic fall- related risk factors Communication of fall risk between providers is critical to prevent falls

23 23 Take-Home Points (cont.) Other fall prevention strategies include: –Medication review –Relocation of patient –Sitters –Bed alarms –Mobility preservation Bed rails should be used with caution Physical restraints should be a last resort


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