Background Falls are a common occurrence in older people and frequently lead to hospital admission. There is a current lack of cohesive fall prevention strategies in the Republic of Ireland.
Aim To demonstrate the cost of fall-related admissions to an acute hospital.
Methods A review of Hospital Inpatient Enquiry (HIPE) data and medical case notes was performed for all fall-related admissions over a one-year period. The cost of fall-related admissions was calculated. In addition a detailed cost analysis was performed to determine the true cost of a hip fracture admission.
Results There were 810 fall-related admissions, resulting in 8,300 acute bed days, and 6,220 rehabilitation bed days, costing E10.3 million. Fall-related readmissions resulted in 650 bed-days, bringing the total cost to E10.8 million. A typical hip fracture incident admission episode costs 4614,300.
Conclusions Fall-related admissions of older people are a significant financial burden to the health service.