People who have a stroke are at great risk for falls; however, most falls research is conducted while patients with stroke are in rehabilitation or after discharge from the hospital. We found falls to occur while patients with stroke were still in the acute hospital inpatient setting. Those with a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) Š8 were at greatest risk for a future fall. Those who did fall in the acute setting were also more likely to demonstrate a loss of functional status. We encourage therapists and nurses to use the NIHSS as a quick screen for falls while patients are still in the acute setting. Prevention of falls during this early stage of hospitalization may translate to fewer future falls during rehabilitation and after discharge.
Volume 47 Number 6, 2010
Pages 553 — 562
Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:06 AM