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