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Sequential compression devices NOT significant fall risk

Sequential compression devices (SCDs) are helpful in preventing deep vein thrombosis, but there is concern that inpatients wearing the devices are at a greater risk of falling because they may trip over the device or the tubing when they get out of bed to walk around.  This study of nearly 5 years of data from Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore) found that SCDs were rarely cited as the cause of patient falls.  There were about 3 SCD-related falls per year, or well less than 1 percent of all falls.  Viewed another way, there were about 0.06 SCD-related falls per 1000 SCD patient days.  In cases where SCDs were found to be the cause of a fall, the fall did not result in significant harm.    The data for this study were from the Patient Safety Net database maintained by University HealthSystem Consortium.

Why I like this article:  1. There has been a great deal of interest in a blog post about patient bedside mats — thought readers might find this interesting as well.  2.  It’s out of Johns Hopkins.  3.  I did not know about the Patient Safety Net database.

Source: Boelig, M.M., and others.  Are sequential compression devices commonly associated with in-hospital falls?  A myth-busters review using the Patient Safety Net DatabaseJournal of Patient Safety;7(2):77-79, June 2011.

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