The National Safety Council reports that falls are responsible for almost 9 million emergency room visits annually. Adults aged 65 and older are more prone to injury or death following a slip and fall.
In 2009 alone, falls resulted in over 25,000 fatalities.
The National Safety Council provides tips to help these preventable injuries. Making sure that electrical cords do not block walking areas is one simple way to prevent trips and falls. Keeping stairs and walkways free of tripping hazards like toys or paper or shoes is yet another easy strategy for mitigating fall hazards. Finally, cleaning up all liquid spills can ensure that no one slips.
Where do people most commonly slip and fall?
Again, the National Safety Council lists some key locations:
- Areas where liquids are spilled
Hip fractures and head trauma are the personal injuries that older adults suffer if they trip and fall. Nursing homes should take special precaution to ensure that walking areas are dry and free of obstructions. Nursing homes and elder care centers can also take measures to help older adults prevent falls in the first place. Holding Tai Chi classes, making sure that older adults get calcium and eat a healthy diet, and making sure that older adults have proper eye prescriptions and mobility devices are key ways that unnecessary falls can be prevented.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons also provides tips on how individuals can safety stand up after suffering a fall. It is important to stay calm and not panic. Assessing whether the fallen individual is hurt is key. If spinal or neck injury is suspected, the individual should not be moved unless it is necessary to unobstructed an airway.
If you have fallen, stay calm, and assess whether it is safe to move. If you do not think you have broken bones or have suffered other serious injury, gently try rolling over. Don’t try to stand up immediately. Crawl towards some kind of stable furniture or anchored seat. Using both hands, move yourself into a kneeling position. Bend the strongest knee, while keeping one knee anchored on the ground. Make sure to keep both hands on a stable piece of furniture so that you can remain steady. Don’t try to stand up, but instead, maneuver yourself into the chair or couch and wait for help. In all cases, it is probably best to wait for help before standing. If you feel unstable at all, lie where you are and wait for help.
The consequences of slip and fall injuries can be particularly severe, especially for older adults. Long term rehabilitation or care may be required. In some cases, individuals are permanently disabled, compromising their quality of life and ability to live independently. Sadly, trips and falls sometimes lead to death. Because these injuries are so easily preventable, it is important to stay informed in order to protect yourself and your loved ones.
If you have suffered from a slip and fall injury or other preventable personal injury in Meridian or Boise, Idaho, you may be facing a long recovery or find your family placed under new stress as a result of having to care for an older adult or injured individual. Because slip and fall injuries are so preventable, the law requires nursing homes, public establishments, and even private individuals to use due caution and ensure safe walking areas and dry surfaces.
If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall due to an establishment or nursing home’s failure to properly keep walkways unobstructed and dry, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. The Law Firm of Johnson & Lundgreen, P.C. can help you and your family receive the maximum compensation allowable under the law for your injuries and pain and suffering. Contact the firm today to protect your rights and loved ones.