Over 6000 admitted to hospital after falls

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More than 6,100 pensioners have been rushed to A&E in Ayrshire after falling over the past year.

Latest figures, presented to a recent NHS Ayrshire & Arran Health Board meeting, show the 6,142 patients taken to emergency departments were aged between 65 and 75 in 2017-18. Most of the elderly victims (68 per cent) were over 75 when they tumbled to the ground.

And those aged over 75 had to stay in hospital for more than a week on average.

The report warned that a fall can be the first sign of a “new or worsening health problem,” adding that there is a “high incidence of falls among older people in Ayrshire” with the potential for serious consequences and decline in quality of life.

A drive to reduce the risk of falls encourages people to improve their health, fitness and self care. People at risk of falling are identified and intervention carried out to minimise dangers.

The report said responding to a person who has just fallen and requires immediate assistance is “critical” and is the key priority. Scottish Ambulance staff and community alarm or the Telecare staff are responsible for rushing to the aid of those who take a tumble.

But the report warned there was more work to do. It said there are “complexities and cultural challenges” in carrying out standard procedures for responding to an “older person who has fallen that reflect the national picture”.

“Many falls and fractures can be prevented by well organised services and organisations working in partnership. Falls prevention and management is not the preserve of one profession, service or organisation.”

“Given the aging population with multimorbidity, frailty and poly-pharmacy, reducing or maintaining the number of people attending with a fall, is challenging and requires continued focus.”