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Falls

Paragliding is a little known, but quite severe risk for falls

Definition

When someone falls over. Durr. More specifically, when they fall over, and get some kind of pathology resulting from that.

Epidemiology

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30% of over 65's fall at least once a year, half of these falling at least twice and the risk increases with age. 5% require hospitalisation. It is estimated that falls cost the UK £1.7 billion a year so it is important to be able to diagnose the cause of a fall.

Risk Factors

There are a variety of factors which can increase risk. The following are broadly speaking the groups in which to these risk factors can categorised:

Neuro/muscular/both factors

  • Muscle weakness
  • Gait deficit
  • Mobility limitiation

Neurological

  • Visual impairment
  • Balance deficit (including dizziness)
  • Seizures
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Consciousness impairment (sudden or gradual)

Cardiological

Iatrogenic

These can be attributed as direct causes of falls but there are other factors which increase risk without being direct causally linked:

Clinical Features

Falling over is really the key manifestation of falling.

Investigations

Screen for

Management

Prognosis

According to this study, if someone has a fall, their risk of hospitalisation increases significantly. With that hospitalisation, there is an increased risk of death in the next year.
However, if someone falls and doesn't require hospitalisation, their risk of death is not affected, unless they fall a lot.