The Particulars: Falls increase the likelihood of hospitalization and mortality in older adults. However, falls have not been studied as a stand-alone risk marker for predicting surgical outcomes in this population.

Data Breakdown: For a study, older patients scheduled for colorectal or cardiac surgery were asked if they had fallen in the previous 6 months. Among patients who underwent colorectal surgery, 58% of those who reported falling had more than one postoperative complication, compared with 27% of those who did not fall. Similar findings were seen in patients who underwent cardiac surgery.

Take Home Pearl: Older patients who have fallen within 6 months of colorectal or cardiac surgery appear to have higher rates of postoperative complications when compared with those who have not fallen.

Source: American College of Surgeons Press Release

References

For more information on these studies and others that were presented at the ACS 2012 Annual Clinical Congress, go to www.facs.org/clincon2012.