Sherry Tabor

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Wayne Higgins, Robert Baum, David Dunn


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Original department Health & Safety

Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science


Untoward events, accidents or incidents, all are interchangeable expression for extraordinary occurrences to hospitalized patients, which are not consistent with the normal routine of a hospital. All mandatory hospital incident report forms for FY '79-'80 were compared for similarities. Variables observed included sex, age, diagnosis, length of hospital stay, mental and physical status, activity level, and drug regimen. The chi-square statistic was applied to several of the variables to determine whether significant relationships existed.

A profile of the typical accident-prone patient from this study was an individual over age 65 with a diagnosis involving the cardiovascular system or gastrointestinal system. The patient was assessed as being alert and oriented by the nursing staff and allowed to be up alone or with minimal assistance. He most likely had ingested a mild to moderate dosage of drugs prior to the accident. The accident was most likely to occur during the first seven days of hospitalization, on the evening shift, and while attempting to get out of a bed or chair.

Many patients in this study experienced an untoward event while hospitalized; fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Minor injuries, such as bruises and abrasions, were frequent and were promptly treated by the nursing staff. Physical injuries, however, are not all that must be considered. Patients also experience added financial burdens from extended hospital stays.


Health Services Administration | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health