Falls in elderly patients is a growing burden on healthcare resources globally. 10-15% of presentations in those ≥65 years at acute hospital services is due to falls. Medicines and polypharmacy are modifiable risk factors for falls. Different classes of medicines increase the risk of falling to differing extents.
The aim was to review the role of medicines in falls in elderly at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda (OLOL). The objectives were:
1: Examine polypharmacy.
2: Examine the implication of the top five classes of falls risk increasing drugs (FRIDs) as potential causative factors in falls.
3: Determine is there a difference in medicine profile between those residing at home and in Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs).
4: Has the Clinical Pharmacist a role in reducing patientsí risk of future falls.
Admission records in OLOL were checked daily for elderly patients admitted due to a fall. When consent was granted data was collected from their records.
94 patients met the inclusion criteria. 53 were recruited, 41 were excluded
Only 1 LTCF resident was recruited for the study, therefore objective 3 could not be examined.
The Falls Risk Odds Ratio (FROR) was reduced for benzodiazepines, ACEiís, ARBís and diuretics but it was not a statistically significant reduction in FROR (p=0.22).
Polypharmacy Number %
Patients on ≥ 5 medicines on admission 41 77%
Patients on ≥ 5 medicines on review 44 83%
Polypharmacy by Medicine Class
No of patients on ≥1 FRID 94.3%
FRID prescribing by class
Clinical Pharmacist Recommendations Actioned
Actioned per FRID class
Pharmacists have a role to play in highlighting polypharmacy and the prescribing of FRIDs.