original instructions: Select a problem of importance to your nursing practice (this might be related to your DNP scholarly project). Report and discuss a relevant prevalence or incidence rate. Are there differences or disparities between or within populations? Please cite your source(s).


Needed Peer response to:

Patient falls contribute to injuries and more extended hospital stays for patients in medical-surgical hospital units. Falls after elective inpatient surgical procedures are a substantial concern, and this public health problem is becoming increasingly important as the population ages. Approximately 1% to 4% of patients fall while in the hospital after undergoing a surgical procedure. Patients experience falls at rates up to 3 times higher than other community-dwelling adults after discharge. These falls have serious consequences. In the US, more than 25,000 individuals 75 years or older died of fall-related injuries in 2016, and that number has increased consistently since the turn of the millennium (Walsh et al., 2018). Falls lead to injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to head injuries, reductions in functional independence, and emotional impacts, such as ongoing fear of falling. Falls also have a substantial economic impact; US insurers spend $30 billion to $50 billion yearly on fall-related care. Increased fall risk after surgical procedures means surgical patients have more significant potential to benefit from fall prevention interventions (Morris & Riordan, 2017).

Are there differences or disparities between or within populations

Fall rates in hospitals are known to vary considerably by unit type. For example, neurosurgery, neurology, surgical, and medicine units tend to have the highest fall rates within hospitals. In contrast, intensive care units tend to have lower fall rates than others. Patients in intensive care units are less likely than patients in other units to be ambulatory, contributing in part to the lower fall rates observed (Morris & O’Riordan, 2017). Other patient factors associated with falling, including age, mental status, illness severity, the use of narcotic medications, and the use of ambulation aids, may also differ across unit types and contribute to differences in fall rates. Age greater than 65 years, the male sex, a recent fall, gait instability, agitation and confusion, new urinary incontinence or frequency, adverse drug reactions, and neurological and cardiovascular instability are the predominant risk factors of inpatient falls, especially in the older population.



Morris R., O’Riordan S. (2017). Prevention of falls in hospital. Clinical. Medicine.; 17:360–362. https://doi: 10.7861.

Walsh, C. M., Liang, L. J., Grogan, T., Coles, C., McNair, N., & Nuckols, T. K. (2018). Temporal trends in fall rates with implementing a multifaceted fall prevention program: Persistence pays off. Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety, 44(2), 75–83.

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