Falls in young adult

Original Editor Andeela Hafeez

Top Contributors - Andeela Hafeez and Scott Buxton  

 Description:

Falls in older people have been characterized extensively in the literature, however little has been reported regarding falls in middle-aged and younger adults.[1]

Epidemiolgy:

The reporting of falls increased with age from 18% in young, to 21% in middle-aged and 35% in older adults, with higher rates in women than men. [1]Falling is a common problem among young patients affected by neurological disorders, although the risk of falling for a specific individual is difficult to predict and the risk of a severe fall-related injury has not yet been established.[2]Among younger people, more than 42% of falls occur while they are engaged in exercise or sports, or while they are running (that is, not running for the purpose of exercise or during a sport; rather, running to catch a bus, for example).[3]49% of middle aged adults report balance or gait impairment as the cause. Finally, tripping hazards on the floor are bad news for older adults; tripping hazards on the floor are the cause of almost twice as many falls among older adults, compared with young adults.only 7% of younger adults who sustained an injury as a result of falling, suffered a fracture.

Risk factors :

  • Young patients with impaired gait and balance or medium to severe motor disability appear to be at increased risk of falling.
  • Patients who are relatively indepen;dent and still participating in challenging activities have an increased exposure to fall-risk.
  • Walking aids, wheelchair characteristics and environmental hazards are significant environmental risk factors[4].

What To Do if Falls Occur:

If you have a fall, it is important to keep calm.
If you are not hurt and you feel strong enough to get up, do not get up quickly. Roll onto your hands and knees and look for a stable piece of furniture, such as a chair or bed.
Hold on to the furniture with both hands to support yourself and, when you feel ready, slowly get up. Sit down and rest for a while before carrying on with your daily activities.
If you are hurt or unable to get up, try to get someone's attention by calling out for help, banging on the wall or floor, or using your aid call button (if you have one). If possible, crawl to a telephone and dial 999 for an ambulance.
Try to reach something warm, such as a blanket or dressing gown, to put over you, particularly your legs and feet. Stay as comfortable as possible and try to change your position at least once every half an hour or so.[5]

Prevention:

1. Knowledge is power, and knowing that most falls occur when walking can alert you to the risks. Being aware of certain risks is sometimes half the battle. Being aware of your environment can be beneficial toward avoiding a fall.
2. Again, de-clutter the floor. Anything on the floor can be a tripping hazard.
3. Exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles around your ankles, knees, and hips. Some of the professionals to give advice about exercises are physiotherapists and kinesiologists. It’s extremely important to perform any exercises with correct form, to be safe.

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)

Reference:

  1. 1.0 1.1 Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 1335 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/5/86
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24099581 Disabil Rehabil. 2014;36(12):963-77. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2013.829525. Epub 2013 Oct 7.
  3. http://dontfall.ca/falls-when-and-why/
  4. http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09638288.2013.829525
  5. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Falls/Pages/Introduction.aspx