School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Dorothy Murphy


conscious sedation, patient falls


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Falls cause injury and occur at a high rate worldwide (World Health Organization, 2018). Healthcare organizations suffer from loss of reimbursement from patient falls due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ no-pay policy. With sedation increasing the risk for patient falls, the study of conscious sedation should be performed to analyze if there is a relationship between conscious sedation and patient falls. Current knowledge regarding this topic is needed to further understand the topic at hand. An integrative review was performed to review and synthesize data. A database search was conducted with research from 2016 to 2021. CINAHL, ProQuest, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Healthsource databases were searched with following terms: “patient falls” + “sedation,” “fall risk” + “sedation,” “sedation falls,” “procedural sedation” + “falls,” and “sedation medication” + “falls.” Articles were reviewed by abstract, with full article review occurring after the inclusion criteria were applied. The thematic analysis method was utilized to categorize and extract applicable data. Findings revealed five themes: age greater than 65, inappropriate medications and dosages, Pro re nata (PRN) medications, falls and fracture risk, and sedation polypharmacy. Therefore, prior to any prescription of sedation medications, risk for patient falls should be assessed. Medication should be prescribed based on evidence-based guidelines and a fall risk mitigation mindset be fostered. Findings of this review help to establish awareness for fall risks and enlighten providers to properly screen and risk-assess patients prior to prescription of sedation medications. Further research should be performed to pinpoint the post-procedural effects of conscious sedation on patient falls.

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