Research Highlights Danger Of Slip and Falls In Care Facilities

Posted on October 10, 2013

New research has come out that highlights the threat posed when an elderly individual suffers a fall.  Understanding the information can help nursing homes and care centers make improvements to facilities that might be able to reduce the risk of a concussion and other types of injuries.

The study hails from Simon Fraser University researchers and is featured in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.  To compile their findings, those behind the study looked at 133 people who suffered a total of 227 falls, each of which was recorded by a video camera set up in the hallway of a care facility in British Columbia.

The researchers discovered that 37% of the falls led the individual to strike their head, with the likelihood of such a dangerous result going up if the resident fell forward rather than backward.  In one of three incidents, the fall led to some type of head injury, be that a scrape or a full-on fracture.  There was no discernible difference in outcome when hands were thrown out to break the fall, and though there were no concussions distinctly proven, researchers note that the issue is murky considering that the results of a concussion would be similar to dementia and thus harder to diagnose.

The principal researcher explains that care centers may be able to improve safety by installing floors that do a better job of protecting residents when they fall.

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