Get the Facts About Fall Accidents in America
Injuries from fall accidents may cause a lifetime of pain and disability. Too often, insurance companies may rush to settle claims quickly and the injured are left holding the bill. Innocent injury victims should never be left to foot the bill because of someone else’s negligence.
The True Costs of Falls
The total medical costs for falls was $50 billion in 2015. Medicare and Medicaid covered 75% of these costs.
The following facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize how dangerous falls are.
- Three million older adults are treated for fall injuries in emergency rooms each year.
- One out of five falls results in a serious injury like a head injury or broken bone.
- More than 800,000 fall victims are hospitalized each year.
- Approximately 300,000 elderly adults are hospitalized for hip fractures each year.
- More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries
Serious Consequences of Falls
Some falls may cause nothing more than a bruise or bump. But others can cause very serious injuries. These injuries can make it difficult, if not impossible for victims to live on their own, partake in everyday activities, or return to work.
Falls often cause head injuries. The elderly are at a higher risk of permanent brain injuries if they take certain medications. Blood thinners and other medications could cause serious complications. Therefore, an elderly person who falls and hits his or her head should seek medical care right away to rule out a brain injury with bleeding.
Fall victims, even if not injured could also experience a decline in their quality of life. They might develop a fear of falling that causes them to become less active. A decrease in activity can increase the risk of falling because people become weaker and less steady on their feet.
Preventing Falls Among the Elderly
Healthcare providers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities must take precautions to prevent falls among their elderly residents. Hazards such as broken or uneven steps, throw rugs or clutter, poorly lit areas, and extension cords across floors should be eliminated. Patients should be assessed for their risk factors for falling according to their health, medical conditions, and the medications they take.