The Dangers of Falling: Part 2

  • March 2, 2017

By Matt Sizemore, KION  |  March 2, 2017

Salinas, CA – “Every little kind of menial task that we take for granted is a potential insult or mechanism for people who get older,” said Natividad Medical Center trauma surgeon, Dr. Hugh Chung.

It only takes one little accident to turn a healthy individual into a fall victim.

“There might be something in the way that you don’t see and you trip right over it and you’ve done it 100 times and unfortunately that particular time it leads to a fall,” said Natividad Medical Center Director of Acute Rehab, Dr. Anthony Galicia.

And the results from one little spill could be dire.

“Fractures, whether it be the hip or the chest, and chest meaning ribs, sternum, other extremities, but fractures and traumatic brain injury are the top two with traumatic brain injury being number one,” said Dr. Chung.

And when the fall is bad enough and hospitalization is needed, fall victims, in many cases, are sent to a trauma center.

“When a trauma is activated regardless of severity, they will all come to this room. It’s an isolated room separate from the emergency department where they can get dedicated, focused care,” said Dr. Chung. And in many cases, trauma doctors will discover other health reasons behind the fall.

“If they have high blood pressure that was unrecognized, or if they were on some medication that was needed for some other condition. Often times these patients are on medications that thin out the blood for a necessary reason,” said Dr. Chung.

We know falls can be physically devastating, but we also know they’re preventable.

“Don’t underestimate falls, and especially with this being Brainsmart. Head injuries are a very common consequence of falls and very unrecognized so it’s important to never think of a bump on the head as just a bump on the head,” said Dr. Chung.