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In a study of 15,000 adults undergoing elective surgery, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that falling up to six months before an operation is common and often causes serious injuries across all age groups. The frequency of falls among middle-aged patients was slightly higher than among those who were age 65 or older.
The researchers also linked preoperative falls to a lower quality of life and the inability to carry out daily tasks, such as using the bathroom independently. This finding suggests a patient’s history of falling may be a powerful pre-surgical tool in assessing overall health.
The study was published online in the August issue of Anesthesiology, the journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. To access the study, go to http://bit.ly/2aiOLMl.
Executive Editor Joy Dickinson, Nurse Planner Kay Ball, Physician Reviewer Steven A. Gunderson, DO, and Consulting Editor Mark Mayo report no consultant, stockholder, speaker’s bureau, research, or other financial relationships with companies having ties to this field of study. Stephen W. Earnhart discloses that he is a stockholder and on the board for One Medical Passport.