Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Lauren Czosnowski


Purpose: Patient falls during hospitalization can delay discharge and decrease quality of life. Medications are one factor that can impact fall risk. This study examines patients who fell while admitted to a cardiac surgery unit to identify which high-risk medications are most prevalent to promote patient safety.

Methods: This was a retrospective case control study. Adult patients over the age of 18 were included. Exclusion criteria included pediatric patients and those with an intentional fall event. A total of 39 falls and 78 controls were analyzed in the study. The primary outcome was a fall event during hospitalization. Other variables included medications, time of medication administration, and risk factors.

Results: The medications significantly more common in patients who fell include morphine (31% vs. 6%, p=0.001), insulin glargine (28% vs. 12%, p=0.011), amlodipine (23% vs. 10%, p=0.0495), hydralazine (23% vs. 8%, p=0.036), isosorbide mononitrate (21% vs. 5%, p=0.02), lorazepam (21% vs. 1%, p

Conclusion: Cardiac surgery patients are exposed to multiple high-risk medications. Benzodiazepines and potent analgesics may increase fall risk and should be closely monitored. Further work is warranted to examine the clinical impact of these results in larger patient populations.