|Falling is a normal experience for young children, but falling from a significant height or onto a hard surface can be dangerous.|
|Frequency||226 million (2015)|
Falling is the second-leading cause of accidental death worldwide and a major cause of personal injury, especially for the elderly.Falls in older adults are a major class of preventable injuries. Builders, electricians, miners and painters are occupations with high rates of fall injuries.
Long-term exercise appears to decrease the rate of falls in older people.About 226 million cases of significant accidental falls occurred in 2015. These resulted in 527,000 deaths.
The most common cause of falls in healthy adults is accidents. It may be by slipping or tripping from stable surfaces or stairs, improper footwear, dark surroundings, uneven ground, or lack of exercise. [ according to whom? ] Studies suggest that women are more prone to falling than men in all age groups.
Older people and particularly older people with dementia are at greater risk than young people to injuries due to falling.Older people are at risk due to accidents, gait disturbances, balance disorders, changed reflexes due to visual, sensory, motor and cognitive impairment, medications and alcohol consumption, infections, and dehydration.
People who have experienced stroke are at risk for falls due to gait disturbances, reduced muscle tone and weakness, side effects of drugs to treat MS, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and loss of vision.
People with Parkinson's disease are at risk of falling due to gait disturbances, loss of motion control including freezing and jerking, autonomic system disorders such as orthostatic hypotension, fainting, and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome; neurological and sensory disturbances including muscle weakness of lower limbs, deep sensibility impairment, epileptic seizure, cognitive impairment, visual impairment, balance impairment, and side effects of drugs to treat PD.
People with multiple sclerosis are at risk of falling due to gait disturbances, drop foot, ataxia, reduced proprioception, improper or reduced use of assistive devices, reduced vision, cognitive changes, and medications to treat MS.
In the occupational setting, falling incidents are commonly referred to as slips, trips, and falls (STFs). 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level should be protected from falling by the use of a guard rail system, safety net system, or personal fall arrest system.Falls are an important topic for occupational safety and health services. Any walking/working surface could be a potential fall hazard. An unprotected side or edge which is
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has compiled certain known risk factors that have been found responsible for STFs in the workplace setting.While falling can occur at any time and by any means in the workplace, these factors have been known to cause same-level falls, which are less likely to occur than falls to a lower level.
Workplace factors: spills on walking surfaces, ice, precipitation (snow/sleet/rain), loose mats or rugs, boxes/containers, poor lighting, uneven walking surfaces
Work organization factors: fast work pace, work tasks involving liquids or greases
Individual factors: age; employee fatigue; failing eyesight / use of bifocals; inappropriate, loose, or poor-fitting footwear
Preventive measures: warning signs
For certain professions such as stunt performers and skateboarders, falling and learning to fall is part of the job.
Injurious falls can be caused intentionally, as in cases of defenestration or deliberate jumping.
The severity of injury increases with the height of the fall but also depends on body and surface features and the manner of the body's impacts against the surface.The chance of surviving increases if landing on a highly deformable surface (a surface that is easily bent, compressed, or displaced) such as snow or water.
Injuries caused by falls from buildings vary depending on the building's height and the age of the person. Falls from a building's second floor/story (American English) or first floor/storey (British English and equivalent idioms in continental European languages) usually cause injuries but are not fatal. Overall, the height at which 50% of children die from a fall is between four and five storey heights (around 12 to 15 metres or 40 to 50 feet) above the ground.
Long-term exercise appears to decrease the rate of falls in older people.Rates of falls in hospital can be reduced with a number of interventions together by 0.72 from baseline in the elderly. In nursing homes, fall prevention programs that involve a number of interventions prevent recurrent falls.
A falling person at low altitude will reach terminal velocity of 190 km/h (120 mph) after about 12 seconds, falling some 450 m (1,500 ft) in that time. The person will then maintain this speed without falling any faster. Terminal velocity at higher altitudes is greater due to the thinner atmosphere and consequent lower air resistance.
JAT stewardess Vesna Vulović survived a fall of 10,000 metres (33,000 ft) on January 26, 1972 when she was aboard JAT Flight 367. The plane was brought down by explosives over Srbská Kamenice in the former Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). The Serbian stewardess suffered a broken skull, three broken vertebrae (one crushed completely), and was in a coma for 27 days. In an interview, she commented that, according to the man who found her, "…I was in the middle part of the plane. I was found with my head down and my colleague on top of me. One part of my body with my leg was in the plane and my head was out of the plane. A catering trolley was pinned against my spine and kept me in the plane. The man who found me, says I was very lucky. He was in the German Army as a medic during World War Two. He knew how to treat me at the site of the accident."
In World War II there were several reports of military aircrew surviving long falls from severely damaged aircraft: Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade jumped at 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) without a parachute and survived as he hit pine trees and soft snow. He suffered a sprained leg. Staff Sergeant Alan Magee exited his aircraft at 6,700 metres (22,000 ft) without a parachute and survived as he landed on the glass roof of a train station. Lieutenant Ivan Chisov bailed out at 7,000 metres (23,000 ft). While he had a parachute, his plan was to delay opening it as he had been in the midst of an air-battle and was concerned about getting shot while hanging below the parachute. He lost consciousness due to lack of oxygen and hit a snow-covered slope while still unconscious. While he suffered severe injuries, he was able to fly again in three months.
It was reported that two of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing survived for a brief period after hitting the ground (with the forward nose section fuselage in freefall mode), but died from their injuries before help arrived.
Juliane Koepcke survived a long free fall resulting from the December 24, 1971, crash of LANSA Flight 508 (a LANSA Lockheed Electra OB-R-941 commercial airliner) in the Peruvian rainforest. The airplane was struck by lightning during a severe thunderstorm and exploded in mid air, disintegrating 3.2 km (2 mi) up. Köpcke, who was 17 years old at the time, fell to earth still strapped into her seat. The German Peruvian teenager survived the fall with only a broken collarbone, a gash to her right arm, and her right eye swollen shut.
As an example of "freefall survival" that was not as extreme as sometimes reported in the press, a skydiver from Staffordshire was said to have plunged 1,800 m (6,000 ft) without a parachute in Russia and survived. James Boole said that he was supposed to have been given a signal by another skydiver to open his parachute, but it came two seconds too late. Boole, who was filming the other skydiver for a television documentary, landed on snow-covered rocks and suffered a broken back and rib. While he was lucky to survive, this was not a case of true freefall survival, because he was flying a wingsuit, greatly decreasing his vertical speed. This was over descending terrain with deep snow cover, and he impacted while his parachute was beginning to deploy. Over the years, other skydivers have survived accidents where the press has reported that no parachute was open, yet they were actually being slowed by a small area of tangled parachute. They might still be very lucky to survive, but an impact at 130 km/h (80 mph) is much less severe than the 190 km/h (120 mph) that might occur in normal freefall.[ original research? ]
Parachute jumper and stuntman Luke Aikins successfully jumped without a parachute from about 7,600 metres (25,000 ft) into a 930-square-metre (10,000 sq ft) net in California, US, on 30 July 2016.
In 2013 unintentional falls resulted in 556,000 deaths up from 341,000 deaths in 1990.They are the second most common cause of death from unintentional injuries after motor vehicle collisions.
They were the most common cause of injury seen in emergency departments in the United States. One study found that there were nearly 7.9 million emergency department visits involving falls, nearly 35.7% of all encounters.Among children 19 and below, about 8,000 visits to the emergency rooms are registered every day.
In 2000, in the USA 717 workers died of injuries caused by falls from ladders, scaffolds, buildings, or other elevations.More recent data in 2011, found that STFs contributed to 14% of all workplace fatalities in the United States that year.
Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as coronary heart disease (CHD) or ischemic heart disease (IHD), involves the reduction of blood flow to the heart muscle due to build-up of plaque in the arteries of the heart. It is the most common of the cardiovascular diseases. Types include stable angina, unstable angina, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death. A common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Occasionally it may feel like heartburn. Usually symptoms occur with exercise or emotional stress, last less than a few minutes, and improve with rest. Shortness of breath may also occur and sometimes no symptoms are present. In many cases, the first sign is a heart attack. Other complications include heart failure or an abnormal heartbeat.
Uterine cancer, also known as womb cancer, are two types of cancer that develops from the tissues of the uterus. Endometrial cancer forms from the lining of the uterus and uterine sarcoma forms from the muscles or support tissue of the uterus. Symptoms of endometrial cancer include unusual vaginal bleeding or pain in the pelvis. Symptoms of uterine sarcoma include unusual vaginal bleeding or a mass in the vagina.
An occupational injury is bodily damage resulting from working. The most common organs involved are the spine, hands, the head, lungs, eyes, skeleton, and skin. Occupational injuries can result from exposure to occupational hazards, such as temperature, noise, insect or animal bites, blood-borne pathogens, aerosols, hazardous chemicals, radiation, and occupational burnout.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. CVD includes coronary artery diseases (CAD) such as angina and myocardial infarction. Other CVDs include stroke, heart failure, hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, abnormal heart rhythms, congenital heart disease, valvular heart disease, carditis, aortic aneurysms, peripheral artery disease, thromboembolic disease, and venous thrombosis.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a type of kidney disease in which there is gradual loss of kidney function over a period of months to years. Initially there are generally no symptoms; later, symptoms may include leg swelling, feeling tired, vomiting, loss of appetite, and confusion. Complications include an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, bone disease, and anemia.
A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle involving little or no physical activity. A person living a sedentary lifestyle is often sitting or lying down while engaged in an activity like reading, socializing, watching television, playing video games, or using a mobile phone/computer for much of the day. A sedentary lifestyle can potentially contribute to ill health and many preventable causes of death.
A hip fracture is a break that occurs in the upper part of the femur. Symptoms may include pain around the hip, particularly with movement, and shortening of the leg. Usually the person cannot walk.
A needlestick injury is the penetration of the skin by a hypodermic needle or other sharp object that has been in contact with blood, tissue or other body fluids before the exposure. Even though the acute physiological effects of a needlestick injury are generally negligible, these injuries can lead to transmission of blood-borne diseases, placing those exposed at increased risk of infection from disease causing pathogens, such as the hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Among healthcare workers and laboratory personnel worldwide, more than 25 blood-borne virus infections have been reported to have been caused by needlestick injuries. In addition to needlestick injuries, transmission of these viruses can also occur as a result of contamination of the mucous membranes, such as those of the eyes, with blood or body fluids, but needlestick injuries make up more than 80% of all percutaneous exposure incidents in the United States. Various other occupations are also at increased risk of needlestick injury, including law enforcement, laborers, tattoo artists, food preparers, and agricultural workers.
Megavitamin therapy is the use of large doses of vitamins, often many times greater than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) in the attempt to prevent or treat diseases. Megavitamin therapy is typically used in alternative medicine by practitioners who call their approach orthomolecular medicine. Vitamins are useful in preventing and treating illnesses specifically associated with dietary vitamin shortfalls, but the conclusions of medical research are that the broad claims of disease treatment by advocates of megavitamin therapy are unsubstantiated by the available evidence. It is generally accepted that doses of any vitamin greatly in excess of nutritional requirements will result either in toxicity or in the excess simply being metabolised; thus evidence in favour of vitamin supplementation supports only doses in the normal range. Critics have described some aspects of orthomolecular medicine as food faddism or even quackery. Research on nutrient supplementation in general suggests that some nutritional supplements might be beneficial, and that others might be harmful; several specific nutritional therapies are associated with an increased likelihood of the condition they are meant to prevent.
Paratyphoid fever, also known simply as paratyphoid, is a bacterial infection caused by one of the three types of Salmonella enterica. Symptoms usually begin 6–30 days after exposure and are the same as those of typhoid fever. Often, a gradual onset of a high fever occurs over several days. Weakness, loss of appetite, and headaches also commonly occur. Some people develop a skin rash with rose-colored spots. Without treatment, symptoms may last weeks or months. Other people may carry the bacteria without being affected; however, they are still able to spread the disease to others. Both typhoid and paratyphoid are of similar severity. Paratyphoid and typhoid fever are types of enteric fever.
Fall prevention is a variety of actions to help reduce the number of accidental falls suffered by older people.
Disease burden is the impact of a health problem as measured by financial cost, mortality, morbidity, or other indicators. It is often quantified in terms of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) or disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Both of these metrics quantify the number of years lost due to disability (YLDs), sometimes also known as years lost due to disease or years lived with disability/disease. One DALY can be thought of as one year of healthy life lost, and the overall disease burden can be thought of as a measure of the gap between current health status and the ideal health status. According to an article published in The Lancet in June 2015, low back pain and major depressive disorder were among the top ten causes of YLDs and were the cause of more health loss than diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma combined. The study based on data from 188 countries, considered to be the largest and most detailed analysis to quantify levels, patterns, and trends in ill health and disability, concluded that "the proportion of disability-adjusted life years due to YLDs increased globally from 21.1% in 1990 to 31.2% in 2013." The environmental burden of disease is defined as the number of DALYs that can be attributed to environmental factors. Similarly, The work-related burden of disease is defined as the number of deaths and DALYs that can be attributed to occupational risk factors to human health. These measures allow for comparison of disease burdens, and have also been used to forecast the possible impacts of health interventions. By 2014 DALYs per head were "40% higher in low-income and middle-income regions."
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or pain in the human musculoskeletal system, including the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support limbs, neck and back. MSDs can arise from a sudden exertion, or they can arise from making the same motions repeatedly repetitive strain, or from repeated exposure to force, vibration, or awkward posture. Injuries and pain in the musculoskeletal system caused by acute traumatic events like a car accident or fall are not considered musculoskeletal disorders. MSDs can affect many different parts of the body including upper and lower back, neck, shoulders and extremities. Examples of MSDs include carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, tendinitis, back pain, tension neck syndrome, and hand-arm vibration syndrome.
Injury prevention is an effort to prevent or reduce the severity of bodily injuries caused by external mechanisms, such as accidents, before they occur. Injury prevention is a component of safety and public health, and its goal is to improve the health of the population by preventing injuries and hence improving quality of life. Among laypersons, the term "accidental injury" is often used. However, "accidental" implies the causes of injuries are random in nature. Researchers use the term "unintentional injury" to refer to injuries that are nonvolitional but preventable. Within the field of public health, efforts are also made to prevent or reduce "intentional injury." Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, for example, show unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death from early childhood until middle adulthood. During these years, unintentional injuries account for more deaths than the next nine leading causes of death combined.
Falls in older adults are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and are a major class of preventable injuries. The cause of falling in old age is often multifactorial and may require a multidisciplinary approach both to treat any injuries sustained and to prevent future falls. Falls include dropping from a standing position or from exposed positions such as those on ladders or stepladders. The severity of injury is generally related to the height of the fall. The state of the ground surface onto which the victim falls is also important, harder surfaces causing more severe injury. Falls can be prevented by ensuring that carpets are tacked down, that objects like electric cords are not in one's path, that hearing and vision are optimized, dizziness is minimized, alcohol intake is moderated and that shoes have low heels or rubber soles.
An opioid overdose is toxicity due to excessive opioids. Examples of opioids include morphine, heroin, fentanyl, tramadol, and methadone. Symptoms include insufficient breathing, small pupils, and unconsciousness. Onset of symptoms depends in part on the route by which the opioids are taken. Among those who initially survive, complications can include rhabdomyolysis, pulmonary edema, compartment syndrome, and permanent brain damage.
A physical hazard is an agent, factor or circumstance that can cause harm without contact. They can be classified as type of occupational hazard or environmental hazard. Physical hazards include ergonomic hazards, radiation, heat and cold stress, vibration hazards, and noise hazards. Engineering controls are often used to mitigate physical hazards.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is a research institute working in the area of global health statistics and impact evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle. The Institute is headed by Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray, a physician and health economist, and professor at the University of Washington Department of Global Health, which is part of the School of Medicine. IHME conducts research and trains scientists, policymakers, and the public in health metrics concepts, methods, and tools. Its mission includes judging the effectiveness and efficacy of health initiatives and national health systems. IHME's work seeks to be complementary to the United Nations' work in the World Health Organization in that it shares many tasks but is independent from member countries.
Hypertensive disease of pregnancy, also known as maternal hypertensive disorder, is a group of high blood pressure disorders that include preeclampsia, eclampsia, gestational hypertension, and chronic hypertension.
Thurmon E. Lockhart is an American biomedical engineer, researcher and educator. He is a Professor at Arizona State University, a Guest Professor at Ghent University in Belgium and, serves as a Research Affiliate Faculty at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Wearable Biomedical Systems of the journal, Sci, and an Associate Editor of Annals of Biomedical Engineering.