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Falls & Injuries (see also, Hip and Knee - Orthopedics)


Primary Listings

Canes and Walker Injuries to Older Adults (NEISS data)

Detailed analysis of injuries associated with walkers and canes to people age 65 and up. Estimated 47,312 injuries with walking aids land in the Emergency dept., 87% of which happened with walkers. More than 3/4 were to women; in all age groups, women sustained higher injury rates than men with walkers and canes. Most injuries occurred at home; less than 5% in bathroom or involving rugs. Six-year data 2001-2006, published June 2009 by Journal of American Geriatrics Society; 6-page pdf available free for a limited time

CDC Injury Facts - CDC Injury Center

Traumatic brain injury/concussion (1.4 million sustain a TBI each year), falls, mass casualties, alcohol-related injuries, teen drivers and car accidents, motor vehicle crashes, poisoning, suicide, and violence, and prevention opportunities and more

Falls Can Kill Seniors - CDC facts

Falls caused about 2.5 million trips to the ER, and over 700,000 hospitalizations for older people. Find out steps you can take: home safety, exercise, eye exams, and medicine use. Unintentional fall death rats have been rising in the last 10 years (see graph)

Falls in the Home and Community

Short fact sheet by the National Safety Council, to educate people to prevent accidental injury and its consequences. including fall-proofing your home, Many additional topics such as Ag Safety, Flooding, Driving at Night, School Bus Safety, are linked in the NSC's extensive Fact Sheet resources

Fractures and Broken Bones (MedlinePlus)

Includes bone scans and low bone density, nasal fractures, hand, broken collar bone, stress fractures, greenstick fractures and more

Guide to Home Safety for Seniors (pdf)

The Safe Living Guide is an easy to read and practical guide to making one's home safe from injury. Topics include preventing falls in the home (a major problem in the US and Canada), medication safety, and indoor/outdoor checklists, such as examining how you reach your mailbox. Very thoughtful guide by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Division of Aging and Seniors, revised 2011

Preventing Brain Injury; Falls and Seniors (CDC)

Falls are listed as a leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), representing 81% of TBI in people age 65+. Materials by the CDC to help family members and caregivers prevent, recognize, and respond to TBI in older adults. Site also discusses concussions as they relate to sports

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Statistics (2007 pdf)

CDC estimates 1.4 million traumatic brain injuries occur each year; most are treated in the ER and released. But, if hospitalized, the most common Type I TBI has an average stay in the hospital of 8.1 days, at an estimated true cost of $19,300 (2004 dollars), and an in-hospital death rate of 13.1%. Most of All TBI patients were privately insured or covered by Medicare; average age was 45 years, and nearly two-thirds were male. Falls and motor vehicle crashes were the top two causes of injury. AHRQ Statistical Brief #27 released March 2007

Truth about ER Visits: 2011 Data from CDC (2014 pdf)

CDC's 2011 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey reveals the median (typical) waiting time to see a physician or other provider in the Emergency Dept. was 27 minutes (see Table 4). About 60% arrived outside of the M-F 8a to 5p hours. Percent admitted or transferred to another hospital: 13.3%. Main reasons for visit: stomach pain, cramps or spasms; chest pain and fever. Headaches, cough and back pain also common. Of the 40 million injury-related visits, 26% were for falls - almost three times the rate of motor-vehicle traffic related injuries seen in Emergency Rooms. Published Nov. 2014

Other Helpful Listings

AMA: 271 Clinical Performance Measures for Physicians, 2012 (pdf)  Editor's Pick

The American Medical Association's Consortium for Performance Improvement has agreed on 271 measures in 42 clinical topics, that are supported by evidenced-based clinical guidelines. Topics include diabetes, asthma, COPD, heart care, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, stroke, pneumonia, emergency care, prenatal testing, cancer screening, smoking, prostate cancer care, ear and eye problems, depression, surgical infection prevention, GERD, end-stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease, substance abuse, wound care and more. Written for medical professionals, but consumers might learn something about appropriate physician care

Colorado 2010 Hospital Charges & Length of Stay (pdf)

Find 2010 average charges (prices), a likely range of costs, number of patients and average length of stay by CO hospital name, for 35 common inpatient medical conditions and surgical procedures. Excludes doctors' fees and outpatient surgery. Shown by region, e.g. Denver area. At the end of each category (APR-DRG), statewide total averages are shown. You may read the pages free on online, but to be able to print any page, you may have to purchase the $250 report (338 pages). Published by the Colorado Hospital Association Aug. 2011

Fact Sheets on Safety  Editor's Pick

A great set of safety fact sheets (over 80 topics) from the National Safety Council. Check out Agricultural Safety during planting and harvest seasons, or the other categories: Healthy Living (includes Halloween safety), Environment, On the Road (including Cell phone safety, under D for Distracted Driving), and School Bus Safety

Guide to Clinical Preventive Services 2015  Editor's Pick

Recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for 95 Screening tests, Preventive Medication, and Counseling activities. Sample Topics: Screening Mammography at age 50, Cancer (e.g. which is more cost effective - colonoscopy or fecal occult blood testing for colorectal cancer?), recommended screening for bladder cancer or skin cancer, Heart Disease (including aspirin for prevention), smoking cessation, screening for depression in children, diabetes screening, folic acid supplements, glaucoma screening, osteoporosis, COPD and spirometry

Massachusetts - Serious Reportable Events in Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgery Centers, 2014

See latest report on Serious Reportable Events - like Falls, Pressure Ulcers (bedsores), or surgical mistakes in MA acute care hospitals, non-acute hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers during 2014. Excel file only; PDF no longer available. From Mass.gov Health and Human Services, June 2015; updated every 6 months

Minnesota - Adverse Health Events in MN Hospitals & Ambulatory Surgery Ctrs 2016

Report of 316 adverse health events required to be reported by Minn. law, that occurred in hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and behavioral health hospitals. These [Never Events] such as falls or pressure ulcers (bedsores) that resulted in a patient's death or serious injury, or a foreign object left in during surgery, or operating on the wrong patient or wrong body part, were reported between October 2014 and Oct. 2015. There were 93 serious injuries and 16 deaths. View facility-specific data in the 120-pg pdf (near end of the report). Adverse Events in the 2016 report came from 78 hospitals or ambulatory surgery centers. Report by MN Department of Health Feb. 2016

New Hampshire Costs - Outpatient Surgery, Tests and Maternity

Shows typical prices for many outpatient procedures, plus inpatient maternity care. NH Health Cost shows expected average cost for over 30 common tests and ambulatory surgeries including colonoscopy, mammogram, ER visit; chest x-ray or x-ray for spine, shoulder, knee, ankle, or foot; bone density scan, CT scan (3 types), MRI for back, brain, knee, or pelvis; myocardial imaging; arthrocentesis, arthroscopy of knee, breast biopsy, destruction of lesion, outpatient gall bladder surgery, hernia repair, kidney stone removal, tonsillectomy, breast ultrasound, and other maternity ultrasound tests, births. Site uses 2010-2011 costs increased for price inflation, common language instead of requiring codes, and includes physician fees. Must supply zip code and insurance information (or no insurance). Report by The NH Department of Insurance updated 2012

New York City Public Hospitals and Nursing Home Ratings 2015  Editor's Pick

Compare quality of care ratings for 11 NYC public hospitals (Bellevue, Coney Island, Elmhurst in Flushing, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings County, Lincoln, Metropolitan, North Central Bronx, Queens in Jamaica, and Woodhull in Brooklyn). Topics: heart care and survival rates for heart attack and heart failure; pneumonia, and preventing infections associated with central lines, ventilators (VAP) and surgery. Four nursing homes (Coler-Goldwater, Gourverneur, McKinney, Sea View) also can be compared for pressure ulcers (bedsores), pain management and preventing falls. NYC.gov site uses 2014 data. Nice site, with improved format for facility-specific information. Impressive gains have been made in reducing hospital infections since 2010. Editor's pick for the hospital Infections info & nursing home comparisons

Vermont - Hospital Outpatient Surgery Prices, 2013 (pdf)

Table 2A lets you compare average gross charge (the closest you will get to average cost) for most common outpatient surgical procedures at 14 general hospitals in VT. Prices for procedures such as carpal tunnel ($4241), cataract surgery (average $5720), endoscopy ($2671), bladder endoscopy $1419, knee cartilage surgery ($6609 average), shoulder surgery (18,580), gall bladder removal (average $11,631, range $8404 to $25,707 for laparoscopy), breast biopsy (avg. $4038), other biopsies, ear tubes (average $3044), tonsillectomy (about $5900), nerve block ($1717), bunion removal (range $6276 to $17,348), nonsurgical skin treatments (avg $2356), hernia repair $9191, and many more procedures; 12-month avg. charges ending Sept. 30, 2013, DO NOT include the surgeon or other physician fees. As with all of Vermont's reports, the font size is about as small as you can get. More than two years old. Table 2B shows how many of those procedures the hospital did

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