Crash: Crashes often require care

Overall, "in men over 70 years of age, every second accident is a fall, in women over 70 are almost two out of three accidents", according to the report of the Freiburg University Hospital. In many cases, smaller falls than normal old-age appearances are taken and people are not aware of how dangerous a fall can be, explains the nursing scientist Dr. Johanna Feuchtinger, Head of Quality and Development at the Freiburg University Hospital.

Households, such as door sills and carpet edges, can quickly turn old people into disasters.(Picture: Picture-Factory / Stumbling blocks in the home, such as door sills and carpet edges, can quickly turn old people into disasters.(Picture: Picture-Factory /

Bone fractures often follow
According to the expert, falls are one of the most common causes of people being in need of care. One out of every three medically treated linings results in a bone fracture, with thigh and thigh fractures being particularly frequent, the Freiburg University Hospital reports. Every fourth fall must be treated in the hospital. Particularly dangerous are falls for people with osteoporosis, since their bones already show an increased fracture susceptibility.

What is the risk of falling?
"The best criterion for a patient's risk of falling is whether he or she has fallen in the last six months," Dr. Johanna Feuchtinger, who is responsible for an optimal fall prophylaxis in the hospital day at the Freiburg University Hospital. Anyone who has fallen in the past six months must "face a fall at any time," says Feuchtinger. Patients over 65 years of age are particularly at risk. In addition, there are several other aspects that make falls likely, the expert reports. These include, among others, neurological diseases such as stroke, short-sightedness or farsightedness, psychological impairments such as anxiety or depression, general muscle weakness or medicaments with effect on the cardiovascular system.

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Tripping a risk factor
In addition, increased urge to urinate or drugs, which trigger it, can increase the risk of falling."For the rapid night walk to the toilet - possibly without glasses - many conditions for falls are given," reports the university hospital Freiburg. In principle, the increased fall tendency is usually the fatal point when external risk factors are added. As such, it is necessary to mention trunks such as door sills, carpets or clothing which is too long, but also dark lighting conditions, poorly adapted spectacles or slippers that change the gait.

Fall prophylaxis should have a higher priority
"In addition to the dangers themselves, the subsequent treatment, possibly with anesthesia, surgery, long bed rash and unknown environment, is also a burden for the patient," explains Dr. Feuchtinger. The fall prophylaxis therefore has to be given a high priority. As a rule, the sources of danger in the household can be eliminated in a few simple steps, the expert reports. It is, however, particularly difficult for those affected to separate themselves from "objects and habits."But that should not be an argument, "says Feuchtinger.

Responding in a timely manner, minimizing the risk
To minimize the risk of falling, the prescribed medicines should also be checked with the doctor as to whether they increase the risk of falling. In addition, well-adapted spectacles and walking aids can create security, reports the University Clinic Freiburg. In addition, there is the possibility to train balance and force control in a physiotherapeutic treatment. According to Dr. Feuchtinger, the Freiburg University Hospital also ensures that the beds are as low as possible in the case of risk patients, in order to make possible nightly falls less risky. This measure could also be useful at home."It is crucial that relatives and affected people prevent themselves in good time - and not only become active when it is too late," concluded the Freiburg expert.(fp)

Experts warn against the risk of falls
Injuries caused by falls can have fatal consequences especially in old people."Around three million times, in 2014, people had to be treated for medical treatment because of a fall", reports the university hospital Freiburg, citing the figures of the Robert Koch Institute( RKI).With age, the share of falls in the entire accident was rising significantly.

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