Car accidents have remained the leading cause of trauma related deaths for a long time, but things are changing. According to Pain Medicine News, falls are on pace to overtake motor vehicle accidents. There are two primary factors that have resulted in this shift occurring. One is that cars have become a lot safer and the other is that the population is aging and thus more susceptible to being seriously hurt in a fall.
As falls become a top cause of injury-related deaths, it is even more critical to take steps to try to reduce the dangers. Nursing homes, employers and those in charge of managing public locations like restaurants and hotels can all do their part to try to reduce the risk of falls occurring and thus reduce the number of deaths each year that occur as a result of trauma.
Falls Becoming a Top Cause of Trauma
From 2002 through 2008, there has been a 46 percent increase in the rate of deaths as a result of fall-injuries, even as there has been a decrease in the number of trauma-related deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents.
In 2002, there were 16 deaths caused by car accidents for every 100,000 people and there were six deaths caused by falls for every 100,000 people. By 2010, however, there were nine deaths caused by falls for every 100,000 people and there were 12 deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents.
Slip and fall accident attorneys in Tulsa know that motor vehicle related deaths have been reduced because of added safety features; because of a strong focus on reducing dangerous driving behaviors such as intoxicated driving; and because physicians have become well-equipped to handle some of the major car accident injuries, especially in light of advances in medical technology that make new treatments possible.
At the same time, the population has been aging, and the process of aging causes cognitive and physical declines that make falls more likely to occur. Not only that, but the older someone is, the more frail he or she is and the more likely it is that a fall will cause serious injuries.
The dramatic decline in car accident fatalities shows that safety efforts can have an impact on making people safer and reducing trauma-related deaths. The same thing needs to happen when it comes to reducing fall injuries.
One of the best places to start efforts to reduce the risk of falls is in nursing homes. The CDC reports that 1,800 senior citizens die in falls in nursing homes every single year. At least some of these deaths could be prevented if nursing homes better recognized and planned for the danger to their residents. This means ensuring that the nursing home environment is safe and doing everything possible to train staff on how to prevent falls.
Employers can also do their part, as NFSI indicates that falls account for 16 percent of total annual work injury claims and 26 percent of annual workers’ compensation benefits costs. By following all OSHA regulations, employers may be able to reduce the chance of on-the-job falls.
Finally, managers and operators of public places like stores and hotels should work to prevent falls by performing regular maintenance on their facilities and monitoring carefully for signs of hazards. Consolidated Floor Safety reports that slip and falls are the number one cause of injury in hotels and other public buildings, and reducing these injuries could help to lower the overall rate of deaths caused by trauma.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeff Martin in Tulsa at 1-800-980-9205 for a free consultation.