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Clin Med (Lond). 2016 Aug;16(4):335-8. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.16-4-335.

Assessment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in medical patients admitted with falls in a district general hospital.

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Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, UK
Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, UK.


Having benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) puts patients at a significantly higher risk of falling. It is poorly recognised and diagnosis is frequently delayed. BPPV has been studied in outpatient settings, but there have been no studies looking at the prevalence in patients admitted with falls. This study aims to establish how common BPPV is in these patients.For a 4-month period, patients admitted on an unselected medical take were screened for an admission precipitated by a fall. Patients who consented were assessed for BPPV using the Dix-Hallpike manoeuvre. Patients who tested positive were treated using the Epley manoeuvre. The assessments were carried out by specialist physiotherapists who were experienced at assessing and diagnosing patients with peripheral vestibular disorders. Out of the 111 patients initially identified, 37 (33%) were considered to be appropriate and consented to be part of the study. Of these, 20 patients (54%) had a positive Dix-Hallpike manoeuvre.Of the patients included in the study, over half tested positive for BPPV. This merits further study. Potentially, there is a proportion of patients admitted with falls who have an easily treatable contributing factor that is not being identified with standard practice.


BPPV; Falls; vertigo

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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