A new $1 million grant could help researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine prevent falls among older people admitted to emergency rooms.
With the two-year grant from the Florida Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association, researchers will study several prevention strategies in seniors at high risk for falls, including strategies that target limited resources for seniors at high risk. .
The study will include elderly patients admitted to the Palm Beach Health Network’s Delray Medical Center. Participants will receive falls prevention measures, either before discharge with a follow-up call or during a home visit after discharge. Investigators will then track the rate of recurrent falls requiring an emergency department visit and fall-related injuries over a six-month period.
Richard Shih, MD, principal investigator of the study, said emergency departments provide an ideal opportunity to target and maximize resources to reduce the risk of fall-related injuries.
“It is important to note that older patients who have injured themselves after a fall and who come to the emergency room have an even higher risk of recurrent falls and subsequent injuries,” Shih said in a statement. “Targeting older adults and their caregivers in the emergency department may offer the most beneficial return when limited resources are available to improve the safety of these individuals.”
The researchers said Florida is the ideal location for the study because it has the highest percentage of geriatric patients in the United States who can provide vital data on the best strategies to prevent falls in a high-risk population. risk.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among people aged 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They account for more than 3 million injuries and 34,000 deaths per year and cost the insurance industry approximately $50 billion per year.
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This article originally appeared on McKnights Home Care