There was an interesting article published by CNN last week about two brothers involved in a spectacular fall when the scaffolding they were on gave way. One brother was killed on impact, while the other survived very serious injuries. Most of us are not at risk for falling 472 feet from defective scaffolding, but we are all at risk for falling and related injuries. The reporter from CNN did some research and offers up an array of fall related statistics, which I will condense here. The sources for these statistics are not provided in the article, but depending on your political leaning, you can decide if CNN is a reputable source of information.
“Falls are the second leading cause of death by injury, after car accidents”
Falls cause 32,000 fatalities per year in the United States
Worldwide, fall fatalities account for 420,000 deaths annually
“More patients go to the emergency room after falling than any other form of mishap (triple the number of car accidents)”
Thirty percent of Medicare age patients residing in senior homes have a fall, after age 80 the number rises to 50%.
One out of three falls leads to injury
Average hospital cost after a fall was $34,000.00 in 2012
Thirty one million dollars are spent annually on medical care for Medicare aged fall related injuries
Ten billion dollars is spent annually on hip fractures, 90% of which are the result of falls
Fall related statistics continue to be startling despite major efforts to prevent falls in the hospital and senior residences. I did a short series on falls in 2011, so if you want to compare these current statistics to the data available 6 years ago, click here.