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Massachusetts Fall Injuries a Growing Risk

Trauma centers across the county are reporting an increase in the number of fall-related accidents. According to Pain Medicine News, if the trend continues, these kinds of accidents could account for more injuries and fatalities than either firearms or traffic collisions.
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According to the study, the number of car crashes has dropped more than 25 percent since 2002 because of the increase in car safety features, medical care and public awareness. That decrease has been offset by an increase in the number of deaths resulting from fall accidents, which are up more than 45 percent in an eight-year period.

Our Somerville personal injury lawyers understand that the total trauma-related mortality decreased by about 5 percent from 2002 to 2010. The decline happened even though we saw an increase in the number of miles driven by Americans and a 10 percent increase in the number of firearm injuries. The number of fatalities from firearms remained relatively the same, although the number of injuries resulting from firearms increased slightly.

Even though the study did not look at patients’ age or fraility, the result suggest that patients have changed in recent years. Researchers believe that a lot of trauma patients are sicker and older than they were just 10 years ago.

“As our population ages, we’re going to have to adjust our resources appropriately and keep close tabs on the trends in trauma-related mortality,” said investigator Kristan L. Staudenmayer, MD, MS, assistant professor of surgery in trauma and critical care at Stanford University.

Across the U.S., one in every three adults age 65 and older falls each year. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.

As obvious as it may sound, a lack of knowledge about risk factors and how to prevent them contributes to many falls. Some people believe that falls are a normal part of aging, and as such are not preventable. Lack of knowledge leads to lack of preventive action, resulting in falls.

Although falls can happen anywhere, well over half of all falls happen at home. Falls at home often happen while a person is doing normal daily activities. Some of these falls are caused by factors in the person’s living environment. For instance, a slick floor or a poorly lit stairway may lead to a fall.

According to The Bay State Banner, just one fall can have a long-term impact. Older people who have fallen often are so afraid of falling again that they limit their activities, which sets in motion a vicious cycle. They lose mobility and muscle strength thereby exacerbating the risk of falling again.

Not only are falls devastating to the affected individual, but they are also expensive to manage. In particular, when associated with fracture of the proximal femur, they carry a high morbidity and mortality. Even lesser falls lead to loss of self-confidence and reduced quality of life. This can also have significant economic consequences because of the cost of inpatient care and also loss of independence and the cost of residential care.

If you or someone you love has been injured, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 888-367-2900.

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