The Dangers of Falling: Part 1

By Matt Sizemore, KION  |  March 2, 2017

SALINAS, Calif. - Between natural disasters, crime, and everything else that puts us in danger, the thought of a simple fall may not be the first thing on our minds. However, it's a fact of life that seems to happen more frequently as we get older.

Falling down is a natural part of life.

"Well pretty much any way anyone can fall; we've been falling since we first learned to stand up, so if you can think of it, we've seen it," said Natividad Medical Center Trauma Surgeon, Hugh Chung.

But unlike on tv or the movies, real life falls aren't always funny.

"Unfortunately it can be very serious. if you hit your head, you can have bleeding in your brain. it could be deadly. you could break your hip easily, that will require repair orthopedically, you can injure internal organs, so there's plenty of bad things that can happen from falls," said Natividad Medical Center's Medical Director of Acute Rehab, Dr. Anthony Galicia.

In fact, falls are the leading cause of injuries for Americans aged 65 and
older, and are also the number one cause of traumatic brain injury.

"As we age our balance starts to deteriorate, things that we were able to
do when we were 20 years old, 3o years old start to get more difficult," said Dr. Galicia.

Often, doctors discover other health problems during a visit to treat a fall. Serious problems like diabetes or high blood pressure.

"Those problems can become exacerbated after a fall, so it becomes chicken
or the egg sometimes," said Dr. Chung.

Though people 65 and older are at the highest risk for serious injury from falls, people would benefit by watching their step starting in their forties and fifties.

 

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Natividad Medical Center • 1441 Constitution Blvd. • Salinas, CA 93906 • (831) 755-4111