CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Emergency room (ER) visits caused by falls hit a record 9.4 million in 2015 (most current data available) according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This exceeds the previous record of 9.3 million from 2011. This level reflects an increase of over 1.5 million ER visits since 2001 as reflected in the CDC's WISQARS database. Falls continue to be the number one cause of injury representing 30% of all injuries tracked.
Almost 70% of fall injuries happened to people 65 and under. According to Thom Disch, author of the book, Stop the Slip, this pattern is consistent with previous years. Disch elaborated, "The common belief is that falls are a problem for the elderly, but we all fall, and injuries caused by those falls cross all age groups." When asked why the elderly are the focus for fall prevention programs, Disch explained, "The elderly need to be cautious about falls because they face more serious consequences. When we are younger we tend to bounce and recover quickly. When we are older, we tend to break."
While people over 65 represent 31% of the fall injuries, they represent 69% of hospitalizations caused by falls and 82% of deaths caused by falls.
|Caused by Falls
|Caused by Falls
|65 and under
Falls appear to be on the rise because people are distracted. Cell phone usage has increased the number of auto accidents and distracted walking seems to be contributing to the increase in fall injuries. Disch believes that the increase in fall injuries can be reversed. In Stop the Slip he lays out the five step ALERT System for reducing fall injuries. The first and most important step is making people more aware of the fall risks they encounter every day.
Thom Disch is a leading expert and speaker on slip, trip, and fall injuries. He has been compiling statistics and stories related to this crisis for ten years.