Falls Cause Most Injury-Related Deaths in WI

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , August 13, 2010

The study attributes 918 deaths in Wisconsin in 2008 to falls. Wisconsin's Top 5 causes for injury-related deaths in 2008 were the following:

  1. Suicides: 737 lives
  2. Automobile crashes: 581 lives
  3. Poisonings: 481 lives
  4. Homicides: 151 lives

Even though most falls occur in the home, 51.5% of the deaths occur in a hospital. Most who suffer a severe fall receive some treatment before dying. For example, of those who were hospitalized for a fall in 2008 and died in the hospital, the average length of stay was 6.5 days, resulting in more than $26 million in charges.

For ages 65 years and older, 25% of deaths occurred in a nursing home, and 15% of deaths occurred in a facility based hospice. As the population ages, the study found that a larger share of falls occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the study found.

The report does not account for time between fall and death, and does not indicate whether the individual who died was transferred between facilities before death.

See Also:
Success With a Fall Reduction Strategy
Coaching Project Helps Facilities Prepare for Patient Falls
Falls Could Signal Serious Health Issues

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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