Ambos concerned by the number of seniors suffering falls

AMBULANCE paramedics are concerned by the number of seniors suffering injuries in falls across NSW.

Elderly residents are urged to stay active and healthy, with the latest NSW Ambulance figures showing paramedics responded to 6380 calls for help in one month.

The majority of patients were people aged 65 years and over, Ambulance media said.

Dr Sandy Muecke, Acting Director of NSW Ambulance Research, said falls constituted the most common medical emergency attended by paramedics.

"Of approximately 825,000 emergency responses annually, almost 74,000 calls involve falls," Dr Muecke said.

"Sixty per cent of those involve people aged over 65."

She said responses to cases involving falls were most common for patients aged 80 years or older, most of whom had fallen from a standing height.

"For older people, two-thirds of falls happen in the home, followed by those occurring in public place or residential aged care facilities."

NSW Ambulance has been proactive in its approach to treating falls patients, particularly those aged 65 years an over.

This message was highlighted during April Falls Month, which is held annually to promote falls prevention messages.

Examples of falls involving seniors (65yrs and over), April 1 - 7, 2013

Northern Region:

1/4  Edgeworth  Man, 86, Fell downs steps. Disorientated. Missing for 10hrs
1/4  Coffs Harbour  Man, 85,  Fell off motorised scooter. Bleeding
1/4   Gateshead   Woman, 77,  Fell down stairs, large cut to hand, knee & leg
1/4  Purfleet   Woman, 70,     Fell over in bathroom, drowsy
2/4   Pottsville  Man, 83,  Fell face down had been on floor all night
2/4  Avoca Beach  Man, 65,  Fell off pushbike
3/4  Taree  Man, 76,  Fell 2-metres, possible fractured spine
3/4    Green Point     Man, 72,   Fell from ladder, serious injury to leg
4/4  Kariong   Man, 77,  Fell in shower, injury to leg
5/4 Boomerang Beach  Woman, 80,    Fell down stairs, hit head on tiled floor 
6/4  Bateau Bay  Woman, 83,    Fell off ladder, leg injury
7/4   Woy Woy  Woman, 79,   Found face down on floor, serious bleeding
7/4    Shoal Bay  Man, 96,   Fallen on tiled floor, head wound