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J Prev Med Hyg. 2010 Jun;51(2):92-6.

Accidental falls in hospitalized children: an analysis of the vulnerabilities linked to the presence of caregivers.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Italy.



This study stemmed from the data gathered by a research conducted by the coordinator of the Department of Healthcare Services and a group of nurses involved in a research on accidental falls in hospitalized children at the "G. Gaslini" Children's Hospital and Scientific Research Institute in Genoa, Italy. The first retrospective study evaluated the accidental falls in hospitalized children referred to the three-year period 2003-2006, while the second perspective study, referred to the trimester March-May 2007, found that the main cause of falls in children was parent's distraction.


The method adopted in the first phase of our study was a proactive risk analysis (The Basics of Healthcare Failure Mode and Effect Analysis), identified in the first place by the VA National Centre for Patient Safety and applied to the "Child and parent hospital admission process". This proactive risk analysis has proven to be very effective in preventing the risk of accidental falls in hospitalized children through effective communication and educational interventions. The second phase of our study consisted of two Focus Groups for accidental traumatic events.


The analysis of the results of the study showed how effective communication is instrumental, not only to have a better awareness of the children and their parents during their stay in hospital, but also to implement educational sessions on prevention to reduce the risk of accidental traumatic events.


The present study contributes to improve safety and the quality of care by motivating nurses to keep their attention high on falls in hospitalized children, by monitoring and the development of new risk assessment tools.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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