Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injury and the most common cause of non-fatal injuries. Falls are extremely prevelant in the senior community and 40% of those older than age 65 have fallen at least once. Unfortunately many falls result in serious injuries such as hip fractures. In fact every hour one death can be attributed to a fall. There are several emergency room visits as a result of falls, almost 2 million a year. Many of those visits result from hip fractures which carry a cost of approximately $20,000 per hospitalization. Many persons who fall are unable to receive immediate help and are found hours or days later. This significantly increases morbidity and mortality. Thus reduction of falls and early recognition is paramount to improving the care of seniors and those at risk for falls as well as reducing the financial healthcare burden. Solutions to address these issues need to be seriously considered.
Jamie Slandzicki, M.D.