ACS 2012: The Impact of Preoperative Falls


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

Readings & Resources (click to view)

For more information on these studies and others that were presented at the ACS 2012 Annual Clinical Congress, go to

1 Comment

  1. If the fall occurs outside of the facility, I can’t imagine there can be much we can do to prevent this, other than post pone the procedures. I supposed it should be a regular part of the questionnaire prior to scheduling anything. Unfortunately everything can’t be scheduled, but for those that can complications- or lowering the rate of complications- may be avoidable.



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