June is National Safety Month, and Saint Francis Healthcare is standing
up for fall prevention. Our trauma center sees more adult patients for
falls than for any other injury. In fact,
according to the CDC, falls are the number-one cause of injury and death from injury among
older Americans. One in four adults aged 65 or older fall each year.
The stats are even more staggering when broken down. According to the CDC,
there are 29 million falls, 3 million emergency department visits, 800,000
hospitalizations and 28,000 deaths in the United States each year.
But don’t let that worry you. If you fall, or if or a loved one falls,
we are well equipped to handle your emergency situation at our
Level 3 trauma center. If your injury is critical, we will examine and care for you instantly.
If your injury is less serious, we will examine you
within 30 minutes.
Even better news—you can prevent most falls. That’s according
to Maria LeNoir, BSN, RN, CEN, Trauma Program Manager & Injury Prevention,
and Dr. Seyedmehdi Jadali, MD, FACS, Trauma Medical Director. Fall prevention
starts in the home. Our trauma team and the CDC suggest you take the following
steps to fall-proof your home:
Remove throw rugs—they’re a tripping hazard. Or, at least,
apply double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
Be mindful of what medications can do when you take them. For instance,
if you are taking some blood pressure medication and stand quickly, you
may feel woozy and fall. If you take aspirin, your blood is thinner, and
you may bleed easier after a fall.
Clean up any clutter you may trip over—such as papers, books, clothes
and shoes—from stairs and other places where you walk.
Install grab bars next to and inside the tub, and next to the toilet.
Use nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
Remove wrought-iron stair rails. Falling and hitting your head on these
can be dangerous.
And don’t forget to exercise—it strengthens weak muscles that
can make you extra-wobbly and more prone to falling. Saint Francis offers
a “Matter of Balance” course to help you improve muscle strength.
The course is available every fall and spring and teaches older adults
how to prevent falls in their homes and increase their activity levels.
For more information about this class, or to register, please email Susan
Fox (DHSS) at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 302-255-9690.
The CDC estimates that the numbers of falls among adults will continue
to rise. Take steps now to prevent falls in your home. And remember—our
trauma center is here for you.