A new study by Johns Hopkins University has discovered that slips and falls are the top cause of traumatic spinal cord injuries in the United States, overtaking car crashes as the leading cause. The study determined that 41.5 percent of spinal cord injuries were caused by slips and falls over the three-year study duration.
The most harrowing news our law firm discovered in this report was that the frequency of spinal cord injuries due to slips and falls actually increased over the course of the study. The study found that the rates of these injuries are increasing most quickly amongst senior citizens.
Over the three years the study covered, the Johns Hopkins research team analyzed a sample of 43,137 adults in emergency rooms in the United States who were treated for spinal cord injuries. The rate of spinal cord injuries in senior citizens (aged 65 and older) increased from 79.4 per million in 2007 to 87.7 per million in 2009. Researchers were not able to pinpoint the precise reasons for the increase in spinal cord injuries due to slips and falls. They speculated that baby boomers aging while still retaining their active lifestyles may have contributed to these numbers.
When senior citizens suffer spinal cord injuries, the injuries tend to have significantly worse consequences than they do for younger people. The elderly are four times more likely to die in the emergency room from a spinal cord injury than a younger patient is. They are also six times more likely to die than a younger adult during an inpatient hospital stay due to a fall.
Fortunately, the study indicates that we might be able to significantly decrease the number of spinal injuries by making further efforts to prevent older adults from falling. Our personal injury experts recommend that building owners invest in textured flooring that makes it more difficult to slip. If you or a family member uses rugs, be sure they are secured to the floor with carpet tape. Have railings or solid grip opportunities for stairs and bathtubs.
Our team of personal injury attorneys believe that no family should have to lose their loved one due to a fall that could have been prevented. Even if death does not occur, a spinal cord injury due to a slip and fall could permanently lessen a senior citizen’s quality of life through mobility issues or chronic pain. We have found that these chronic issues can cost thousands of dollars in care over a person’s lifetime.
If you or a loved one have suffered a preventable injury due to a slip or fall and need help from an experienced lawyer in Atlanta, contact McAleer Law today.