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Dr. Rollin Wright provides a description and overview into the different types of falls and how they should be treated for the geriatric population.

Educational objectives:

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Approach every fall by an older person as a sentinel event requiring further investigation and workup.
  • Apply criteria to classify a fall as mechanical v. nonmechanical and injurious v. noninjurious.
  • Analyze the circumstances of each fall for intrinsic risk factors that contributed to the fall.
  • Modify a patient’s medication list to reduce fall risk.
  • Perform a fall risk assessment on every patient 70 years and older at least annually and after every reported fall event.

Reading Resources:

  1. Fuller GF. Falls in the elderly.  Am Fam Physician 2000;61:2159.
  2. Wright R, Visoiu A, Palmer RM.  Book Chapter 85:  Falls in Principles and Practice of Hospital Medicine, McKean, Ross et al eds., McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., New York, 2012.
  3. Callis N. Falls prevention: identification of predictive fall risk factors. Applied Nursing Research 2016; 29:53-58.
  4. Panel on Prevention of Falls in Older Persons. Summary of the updated American Geriatric Society/British Geriatrics Society clinical practice guideline for prevention of falls in older persons. J Am Geriatr Soc 2011;59:148-157. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03234.x
  5. de Jong MR, Van der Elst M, Hartholt KA. Drug-related falls in older patients: implicated drugs, consequence, and possible prevention strategies. Ther Adv Drug Saf 2013;4:147-154. DOI: 10.1177/ 2042098613486829
  6. Studenski S, Perera S, Patel K et al. Gait speed and survival in older adults. JAMA 2011;305:50-58. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1923.


Dr. Wright has reported no relevant relationships with any entities producing health care goods or services.

All presenters disclosure of relevant financial relationships with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients is listed above.  No other planners, members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Accreditation Statement:

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of .75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Other health care professionals are awarded (0.075) continuing education units (CEU) which are equivalent to .75 contact hour.

For your credit transcript, please access our website 4 weeks post-completion at and follow the link to the Credit Transcript page. If you do not provide the last 5 digits of your SSN on the next page you will not be able to access a CME credit transcript. Providing your SSN is voluntary.

Release Date: 11/3/2016 | Last Modified On: 11/3/2016 | Expires: 11/3/2017

This course has been expired.