Websites on falls

Dr Keith Barnard recommends websites

Website of the week
This is a fairly detailed account of falls in the elderly, not something to glance at between patients. But I was impressed by the tables and key points boxes.

An interesting graph demonstrates the factors that contribute to falls.

The mnemonic 'I HATE FALLING' makes it easy to make sure you don't miss any key physical findings.

Why go there: covers it all.
Downside: one mnemonic is not fully explained.
Information from: American Family Physician

Long-term care 
The issue of trying to avoid falls in the institutional environment impinges upon everyone involved. Focussing on the problem can help everyone - patients, carers and the medical staff who may be called in the even of an incident.

This four-page PDF is from Canada, but the advice is no less relevant.

It looks at the evidence for programmes that target environmental and patient-specific risks to prevent falls and hip fractures for anyone in long-term care.

The bones of these pages only occupy a few paragraphs, but they would be handy to refer to if you are asked to give advice following a fall.

Why go there: keep handy for care homes.
Downside: needs distilling.
Information from: Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
Address: Please click here

Gait disorders
Cardiovascular causes of falls would be near the top of my list when considering aetiology, but in this study it accounted for only 14 per cent of cases. By far the largest proportion had a gait disorder.

This abstract concludes that in older people with unexplained falls, gait disorders were associated with non-cardiovascular causes.

The authors believe gait assessment was a useful approach that added value to investigating causes.

Why go there: useful and brief.
Downside: how can we get gait assessment?
Information from: BMC Geriatrics
Address: Please click here

This neatly presented six-page PDF about cardiovascular causes of falls is packed with data and helpful tables. But GPs are busy people and it would be great if someone could condense this on to a couple of sides of A4.

Why go there: all you need.
Downside: too long.
Information from: British Geriatrics Society
Address: Please click here

Dr Barnard is a former GP in Fareham, Hampshire

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in