Falls Lead to Health Declines in Senior Citizens

Falls Lead to Health Declines in Senior Citizens

Press Release Jul 07, 2017

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — More than half of elderly patients (age 65 and older) who visited an emergency department because of injuries sustained in a fall suffered adverse events—including additional falls, hospitalization and death—within 6 months. The results of a study examining how risk factors predict recurrent falls and adverse events were published online Wednesday in Annals of Emergency Medicine ("Revisit, Subsequent Hospitalization, Recurrent Fall and Death within 6 Months after a Fall among Elderly Emergency Department Patients").

"Our study shows an even higher rate of adverse events than previous studies have," said lead study author Jiraporn Sri-on, MD, of Navamindradhiraj University in Bangkok, Thailand. "Patients taking psychiatric and/or sedative medications had even more adverse events. This is concerning because these types of drugs are commonly prescribed for elderly patients in community and residential care settings."

Of patients who visited the emergency department for injuries sustained in a fall, 7.7 percent developed adverse events within 7 days, 21.4 percent developed adverse events within 30 days and 50.3 percent developed adverse events within 6 months. Within 6 months, 22.6 percent had at least one additional fall, 42.6 percent revisited the emergency department, 31.1 percent had subsequent hospitalization and 2.6 percent had died.

Risk factors associated with adverse events within 6 months of an emergency department visit for a fall included diabetes, polypharmacy (five or more medications), and psychiatric and/or sedative medications.

"Emergency physicians have a tremendous opportunity to reduce the very high adverse event rate among older emergency patients who have fallen," said Dr. Sri-on. "Fall guidelines exist and work needs to be done to increase their implementation in emergency departments so patients can be educated on how not to fall again once they have been discharged from the emergency department."

The American College of Emergency Physicians recently produced and promoted a public education video urging people to take the "7 Step Fall Challenge" to help prevent falls.
 

Annals of Emergency Medicine is the peer-reviewed scientific journal for the American College of Emergency Physicians, the national medical society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. For more information, visit www.acep.org.

 

The funds will benefit organizations along the Hudson River such as Rockland Paramedic Services, Nyack Hospital, and Maternal Infant Services Network.
Doctors participating in Minnesota's Medicaid program could face warnings and even removal from the program if they exceed the new dosage limit for more than half of their patients.
Tristan Meadows, leader for the campus group Students for Opioid Solutions, presented a bill to the UND School Senate to purchase 50 Narcan kits.
A whistleblower from Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital revealed dozens of workers played some role in the unprovoked abuse of a psychiatric patient.
Multiple gunshot victims, including students, were airlifted to hospitals after the gunman was fatally shot by law enforcement officers.
Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center's new ER facility features added beds, new equipment, and more space in the waiting room.
In an effort to curb the opioid epidemic, the new legislation allows hospitals to provide an emergency detox program for overdose patients until they find a treatment facility.
A study that analyzed 19,331 cardiac incidents reveal bystanders are less likely to perform CPR on women in public settings because it involves pushing on the chest.
Melinda Moroz's medical training with Priority Ambulance kicked in when she had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a student who was choking on candy.
A firefighter-paramedic transporting an overdose patient began showing symptoms of an overdose from opioid exposure.
First responders and residents who spent time near ground zero after the collapse of the Twin Towers are eligible for treatment and compensation for illnesses caused by toxins in the air.
Toxicology experts say that claims of first responders overdosing from exposure to fentanyl are unfounded as it takes 24 hours for the drug to be fully absorbed by the skin.
Early recognition, technology, and teamwork result in record-setting door-to-balloon times in Bedford County.
Various protocol changes in hospitals' emergency departments have decreased patient waiting time and ambulance diversion time.
ER doctors performed CPR and used an AED on a man who went into cardiac arrest at the sandwich shop they stopped at for lunch.