According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Falls are a threat to the health of older adults and can
reduce their ability to remain independent.” The CDC continues,
“Every 20 minutes an older adult dies from a fall in the United
States. Many more are injured.” How serious is the problem? Let’s
take a look at some important facts about falls reported by the CDC:
- 1 in 5 falls causes a serious injury, such as a head injury or broken bones.
- 2.8 million older adults are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries.
- Each year, more than 800,000 people are hospitalized for a fall-related
injury. Most of the time, they are hospitalized for a hip fracture or
- Every year, at least 300,000 older Americans are admitted to hospitals
for hip fractures.
- Of all hip fractures, over 95% of them are caused by falls.
- Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries.
falls do not lead to serious injuries, one in five falls does lead to a serious
injury, such as a head injury, hip fracture or broken bone. When a fall
does cause broken bones, the fracture often affects the wrist, arm, ankle
or hip. Falls can also cause head injuries, which can be very serious
if the person is taking blood thinners. If an older person falls and hits
their head, they should immediately see a doctor to ensure they did not
sustain a brain injury.
Where Do Older People Fall?
Like younger people, an older person can fall anywhere, but there are certain
places where an older adult is under another’s care and should be
protected from the risk of falls. For example, if an older person is a
patient in a hospital, or living in a nursing home or long-term care facility,
these facilities are responsible for ensuring the older person’s
safety and preventing falls.
When it comes to hospitals and
nursing homes, the staff are supposed to be educated in what conditions increase the
risk of falls, such as lower body weakness, a Vitamin D deficiency, certain
medications (e.g. sedatives and tranquilizers), and vision problems. Healthcare
providers should always be aware of fall risk factors and take precautions
to risk the patient’s risk of falling inside the hospital or nursing home.
Has your loved one fallen at a nursing home, hospital or someplace else?
If so, you may have grounds to file a
personal injury claim. To learn more,
contact the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb to meet with a West Palm Beach slip & fall lawyer.