|Falls-related traumatic brain injury - NEW policy paper from Brain Injury Australia|
|Thursday, 30 April 2009 00:00 | Print page:|
Falls, particularly in older people, are now not only the leading cause of injury admissions to Australia’s hospitals but also the leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Of the roughly 130,000 hospitalisations due to falls annually, around 8,000 will result in a TBI – 1 in every 3 in a person aged 65 and over.
TBI results of a fall are also the most deadly – 63% prove fatal. Overall, brain injury is 10 times as common as spinal injury and produces, on average, 3 times the level of disability.
Australia's falls prevention programs have focused almost exclusively on hip fracture as the falls injury risk.
Post-falls assessment and management have likewise stressed physical injury that may threaten mobility and independence.
TBI and its consequences have been discounted as simply other manifestations of age-related cognitive decline, such as dementia.
Brain Injury Australia’s policy paper on falls-related TBI, recently completed for the Australian Government, outlines the implications for consumers, families, community and residential aged care service providers in falls prevention, post-falls assessment and interventions aimed at, for example, behaviour management.
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