Falls are a significant public health issue affecting Western Australian families and the economy, with falls ranking as the leading cause of injury hospitalisations and emergency department attendances in 2018. Bringing attention to the incidence of falls-related fatalities, hospitalisations and emergency department attendances in Western Australia and the need to implement effective falls prevention initiatives, Injury Matters has released the 2020 Western Australian Falls Report.
The report highlights a number of WA statistics, including that;
- In WA someone died due to a falls-related injury every 26 hours in 2017, was admitted to hospital due to a fall every 19 minutes in 2018, presented to an emergency department every 12 minutes due to a fall in 2018, and required an ambulance call out every 18 minutes due to a fall in 2018.
- On average 6.3 days was spent in hospital per falls-related admission in 2018.
- The 27,327 falls-related hospitalisations in 2018 resulted in 172,099 annual bed days at an estimated cost of $244,845,273.
- Females experienced a higher rate of falls-related hospitalisations and emergency department attendances than males in 2018.
- In 2017 individuals aged 85 years and over experienced the highest rate of falls-related fatalities and in 2018 they experienced the highest rate of hospitalisations and ED attendances.
- Residents in the Goldfields and the South West regions experienced the highest rate of falls-related fatalities in 2017.
- Residents in the Kimberley and Midwest regions experienced the highest rate of falls-related hospitalisations in 2018.
- Over 51% of falls-related hospitalisations in 2018 were reported to be the result of a fall that occurred within the home or an aged care facility (n=14,105).
In Western Australia there are a number of dedicated professionals and organisations working to reduce the incidence of falls, however there are still additional actions needed to reduce the impact of falls, including; developing the personal skills of vulnerable populations, implementing initiatives that target high-risk settings, providing additional prevention initiatives within healthcare settings, delivering leadership through public policy and taking collective action.
We encourage you to contribute to these actions by downloading the report today, sharing the findings, implementing falls prevention initiatives and engaging in falls prevention activities provided by Injury Matters.
Injury Matters developed the 2020 WA Falls Report with funding from the Western Australian Department of Health.