Falls before surgery may be a predictor of post-operative complications, such as comas, infections and blood clots, in elderly patients, Reuters reports. The finding is based on a study in JAMA Surgery that linked the number of falls an elderly person reported having before surgery and the post-operative outcomes for these patients. Researchers examined 78 patients over the age of 65 who reported no falls before surgery and 157 who did report falls. Post-operative analysis showed that 59% of patients who reported falls before bowel surgery experienced some post-operative complication, compared to 25% of those who hadn’t fallen. In the heart surgery group, 39% of the patients who fell experienced complications, compared to only 15% in the no-fall group. The results do not mean that falling causes these complications, but rather is speculated to be mediated by the frailty of the patient. Nevertheless, the results can be used to predict the outcomes of surgery and to modify treatment approach to avoid complications.