|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 is a major cause of personal injury, especially for the elderly.Falls in older adults are an important class of preventable injuries. Builders, electricians, miners, and painters are occupations with high rates of fall injuries.
An accidental death is an unnatural death that is caused by an accident such as a slip and fall, traffic collision, or accidental poisoning. Accidental deaths are distinguished from death by natural causes (disease) and from intentional homicides and suicide. An accidental death can still be considered a homicide or suicide if a person was the unintentional cause.
Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.
Old age refers to ages nearing or surpassing the life expectancy of human beings, and is thus the end of the human life cycle. Terms and euphemisms include old people, the elderly, seniors, senior citizens, older adults, and the elders.
About 226 million cases of a 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.
Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person's daily functioning. Other common symptoms include emotional problems, difficulties with language, and a decrease in motivation. A person's consciousness is usually not affected. A dementia diagnosis requires a change from a person's usual mental functioning and a greater decline than one would expect due to aging. These diseases also have a significant effect on a person's caregivers.
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.
A stroke is a medical condition in which poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death. There are two main types of stroke: ischemic, due to lack of blood flow, and hemorrhagic, due to bleeding. Both result in parts of the brain not functioning properly. Signs and symptoms of a stroke may include an inability to move or feel on one side of the body, problems understanding or speaking, dizziness, or loss of vision to one side. Signs and symptoms often appear soon after the stroke has occurred. If symptoms last less than one or two hours it is known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke may also be associated with a severe headache. The symptoms of a stroke can be permanent. Long-term complications may include pneumonia or loss of bladder control.
In physiology, medicine, and anatomy, muscle tone is the continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles, or the muscle's resistance to passive stretch during resting state. It helps to maintain posture and declines during REM sleep.
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.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. As the disease worsens, non-motor symptoms become increasingly common. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common, occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. The main motor symptoms are collectively called "parkinsonism", or a "parkinsonian syndrome".
Orthostatic hypotension, also known as postural hypotension, occurs when a person's blood pressure falls when suddenly standing up from a lying or sitting position. It is defined as a fall in systolic blood pressure of at least 20 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure of at least 10 mm Hg when a person assumes a standing position. It occurs predominantly by delayed constriction of the lower body blood vessels, which is normally required to maintain an adequate blood pressure when changing position to standing. As a result, blood pools in the blood vessels of the legs for a longer period and less is returned to the heart, thereby leading to a reduced cardiac output. Mild orthostatic hypotension is common and can occur briefly in anyone, although it is prevalent in particular among the elderly and those with known low blood pressure. Severe drops in blood pressure can lead to fainting, with a possibility of injury.
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition in which a change from lying to standing causes an abnormally large increase in heart rate. This occurs with symptoms that may include lightheadedness, trouble thinking, blurred vision, or weakness. Other commonly associated conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, chronic headaches, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
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. These hazardous exposures exist in many forms, and can be as seemingly innocuous as changing a light bulb from a step ladder to something as high-risk as installing bolts on high steel at 200 feet (61 m) in the air. In 2000, 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.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
Companies must make sure that they follow the applicable safety legislation (e.g., the Occupational Safety and Health Act in the United States) to keep their work environments safe.
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
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.
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 problems that involve a number of interventions prevent recurrent falls.
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.
Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as ischemic heart disease (IHD), involves the reduction of blood flow to the heart muscle due to buildup 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.
Preventive healthcare consists of measures taken for disease prevention, as opposed to disease treatment. Just as health comprises a variety of physical and mental states, so do disease and disability, which are affected by environmental factors, genetic predisposition, disease agents, and lifestyle choices. Health, disease, and disability are dynamic processes which begin before individuals realize they are affected. Disease prevention relies on anticipatory actions that can be categorized as primal, primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention.
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 needlestick injury is the penetration of the skin by a needle or other sharp object, which 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 contracting infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and the 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.
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.
An occupational hazard is a hazard experienced in the workplace. Occupational hazards can encompass many types of hazards, including chemical hazards, biological hazards (biohazards), psychosocial hazards, and physical hazards. In the United States, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conduct workplace investigations and research addressing workplace health and safety hazards resulting in guidelines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes enforceable standards to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. In the EU a similar role is taken by EU-OSHA.
The Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) is a comprehensive regional and global research program of disease burden that assesses mortality and disability from major diseases, injuries, and risk factors. GBD is a collaboration of over 1,800 researchers from 127 countries. Under principal investigator Christopher J.L. Murray, GBD is based out of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi in the lungs. Symptoms include coughing up mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort. Bronchitis is divided into two types: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is also known as a chest cold.
Falls in older adults are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and are an important 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.
The World Health Organization has traditionally classified death according to the primary type of disease or injury. However, causes of death may also be classified in terms of preventable risk factors—such as smoking, unhealthy diet, sexual behavior, and reckless driving—which contribute to a number of different diseases. Such risk factors are usually not recorded directly on death certificates, although they are acknowledged in medical reports.
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 opioids are taken. Among those who initially survive, complications can include rhabdomyolysis, pulmonary edema, compartment syndrome, and permanent brain damage.
An occupational fatality is a death that occurs while a person is at work or performing work related tasks. Occupational fatalities are also commonly called “occupational deaths” or “work-related deaths/fatalities” and can occur in any industry or occupation.
A physical hazard is an agent, factor or circumstance that can cause harm with or 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.
National Safety Month (NSM) is an annual month-long observance in the United States each June.