In a disturbing trend, federal agencies are recording an increase in the number of people killed in fall accidents across the U.S. According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and based on statistics from all states, there has been an alarming spike in fall-related fatalities.
Between 2008 and 2017, according to the data, there was a 17 percent increase in the number of deaths that occurred as a result of slip and fall accidents and other types of falls. The rate grew from 3.86 per 100,000 in 2008 to 4.52 per 100,000 people. In 2008, 12,311 fatalities were linked to fall accidents. That number spiked to 17,408 in 2017.
Almost all demographics recorded an increase in fall-related deaths during this period of time. However, the rise was particularly significant in certain groups such as people in rural areas and senior citizens above the age of 75.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that this increase might have much to do with the fact that seniors are living longer lives and are more mobile on top of that. The increased fatality rate in rural areas could be due to the lack of access to trauma care centers in these regions. Access to emergency treatment is critical in the first few hours after a fall. In fact, treatment in the first hour, or the “golden hour,” after the injury is vital to the patient’s ability to recover from his injuries. Unfortunately, more of than not rural areas lack access to the kind of facilities that can help mitigate the risks of a fatality after a brain injury in a fall.
Most of the deaths that are caused in fall accidents are the result of brain injuries. A server blow or jolt to the head during a fall can cause serious medical complications that result in death. Swelling or bleeding in the brain, for example, is a potentially life-threatening condition after a fall or injury that must be treated immediately in order to avoid a fatality.
When a fall accident occurs, rush the victim to a hospital immediately. The victim must be rushed to the hospital if he loses consciousness even for a few seconds, or shows signs of confusion or disorientation after the accident. Even if there has been no loss of consciousness, do not assume there has been no injury. Some types of concussions may not result in loss of consciousness, but may still have resulted in damage to the brain. Doctors typically advise rest for a few weeks after a head injury in order to avoid strain on the brain.
Even moderate brain injuries can result in long-term effects that can severely impact the quality of a patient’s life. If you loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a slip and fall accident, discuss filing a claim for compensation for damages with an Atlanta slip and fall lawyer at the Katz Law Firm.