Head injuries common in nursing home falls - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Head injuries common in nursing home falls

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com / Thinkstock © iStockphoto.com / Thinkstock
  • Wendy Damonte's Health Watch ReportsMore>>

  • Request Remind Me 2 Kit

    Request a Remind Me 2 Kit

         More >>
  • Implanted Defibrillators

    Implanted Defibrillators

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:24 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:24:50 GMT
    More and more companies are buying external defibrillators. They talk you through how to shock someone's heart that has gone into sudden cardiac death. But there are also defibrillators you can implant into a high risk patient. And now that technology has taken another step forward.More >>
    More and more companies are buying external defibrillators. They talk you through how to shock someone's heart that has gone into sudden cardiac death. But there are also defibrillators you can implant into a high risk patient. And now that technology has taken another step forward.More >>
  • AB Donors Urgently Needed at United Blood Services

    AB Donors Urgently Needed at United Blood Services

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:57 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:57:36 GMT
    United Blood Services of Reno is in urgent need of AB Plasma donors. AB Plasma is the universal plasma blood type meaning all hospital patients can receive an AB Plasma transfusion when plasma is required on a moments notice to save lives.More >>
    United Blood Services of Reno is in urgent need of AB Plasma donors. AB Plasma is the universal plasma blood type meaning all hospital patients can receive an AB Plasma transfusion when plasma is required on a moments notice to save lives.More >>

MONDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- When seniors in long-term care facilities fall, more than a third hit their heads, a new study shows.

Researchers analyzed video footage of 227 falls suffered by 133 seniors in a long-term care facility and found that they struck their heads in 37 percent of the incidents. People hit their head on the floor in 63 percent of such cases, most often striking hard flooring, such as tile or linoleum. Sixteen percent struck their head on furniture and 13 percent hit their head on a wall.

The finding that head impact occurred in that many falls is alarming, said study author Stephen Robinovitch, of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, and colleagues. He noted that young people rarely strike their head when they fall.

The study was published Oct. 7 in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The risk for head impact was much higher for forward falls than for backward falls, and attempts to use the arms to break falls were ineffective, according to a journal news release.

"Although we cannot identify why hand impact was generally ineffective in halting downward movement and preventing head impact, likely causes include ineffective arm placement; non-optimal muscle tone or muscle activation at impact; and insufficient strength in upper-limb, neck and trunk muscles, which is amenable to improvement through resistance training," the researchers wrote.

They said their findings suggest a number of areas for improvement, including better procedures to detect possible brain injuries due to falls in long-term care residents and exercises to strengthen upper limbs.

Creating a safer environment is another suggestion -- such as adding a flooring sub-layer that is soft enough to cushion the impact but not so soft that it impairs balance.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about older adults and falls.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.