Danger of falls and strokes: Part 1

By Matt Sizemore, KION  |  Feb 21, 2018

 

SALINAS, Calif. - When it comes to our health, we already have enough to worry about. So it's probably safe to say that most of us don't worry about falling down on a regular basis. But it might be something to always be wary of as one bad tumble could change a life in less than a second.

"Probably 70-75% of our response volume is actually for medical aid calls, and of that number, probably one out of five emergency responses are for falls," said Monterey Regional Fire Division Chief Eric Ulwelling.

And though many falls may be work or recreation related, it's the elderly who fall down the most. 

"They are a little more unsteady on their feet, they have thinner bones that fracture easily, they're often on blood thinners which can cause problems," said Natividad Medical Center Emergency Department Medical Director Christopher Burke.

But that doesn't mean older people are just tripping on things around the house. a different health issue could have led to the tumble.

 "So whenever our paramedics do an assessment on a patient, they're looking for the underlying cause. And sometimes it's a simple as a trip over a rug, or it could be something as significant as a cardiac issue that caused a rapid drop in blood pressure," said Ulwelling.

We often hear about broken hips or fractured wrists when seniors fall, but that's not public enemy number one.

"The main one we usually get concerned about are head injuries. They could have different types of hematomas or bleeding inside the brain," said Dr. Burke.

Falls are bound to happen, but they are avoidable. Espcially if precautions are taken.

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