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Preventing falls among elderly people in the hospital environment

Pekka Kannus, Karim M Khan and Stephen R Lord
Med J Aust 2006; 184 (8): 372-373.
Published online: 17 April 2006

Falls and related injuries among seniors are a compelling ongoing priority for Australian health research

Falls and fall-induced injuries among older people are a major public health concern worldwide, accounting for over 80% of all injury-related admissions to hospital of people over 65 years.1-3 Falls are also the leading cause of unintentional injury death in these individuals and responsible for appreciable morbidity, including bone fracture, head injury, joint disruption, and soft tissue contusion and laceration resulting in pain, functional impairment, disability, fear of falling, depression, loss of independence and confidence, and admission to residential care.1,4,5 Moreover, this major health problem is likely to increase, as the number and mean age of older people are increasing worldwide and epidemiological studies suggest that, for some types of fall-related injuries, the age-standardised incidence (ie, average individual risk) of injury is also rising.1,6

  • Pekka Kannus1
  • Karim M Khan4,5
  • Stephen R Lord6

  • 1 Accident and Trauma Research Center, Urho Kaleva Kekkonen Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland.
  • 2 Division of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Medical School, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
  • 3 Department of Trauma, Muscoloskeletal Surgery and Rehabilitation, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
  • 4 Department of Family Practice and School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • 5 Osteoporosis Program, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • 6 Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: pekka.kannus@uta.fi

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