Doctors presenting a study examining trauma center fatality statistics at a recent medical convention came to a conclusion regarding the prognosis of slip and fall victims. The fatality rate had increased by nearly 50 percent between 2002 and 2010. The statistic, which emergency room physicians discussed at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, stands in contrast to fatality rates for motor vehicle collisions as well as gunshot wounds.
Medical researchers note two key factors in the growing number of deaths: age and a lack of preventive education. Car safety, thanks to improvements in technology, has allowed the number of fatalities to drop by 25 percent. Improvements in wound care and surgical techniques have helped victims of firearm shots in the same way.
Yet there is little done in Pennsylvania and around the country to address the safety of the rapidly increasing elderly population. The number of seniors in nursing homes, for example, could double over the next 15 years. Without efforts to make premises safer for these aging Americans, the number of slips and falls will only increase.
A holistic approach has been pitched in some studies and research, with aerobic and strength training for seniors combined with better design choices in places of public accommodation. Otherwise, "the big challenge is that we are going to be dealing with patients who are more frail and have more co morbidities," Dr. Kristan L. Staudenmayer noted, according to an Anesthesiology News report. Pennsylvania residents of all ages should be wary of dangerous situations such as wet floors in retail environments and icy walkways that have not been shoveled.