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Falls facts

What is a fall?

fall is defined as an event, which results in a person coming to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level.1

A fall can be a trip, slip or stumble. Not all falls end up with the person on the ground, they may fall back onto their bed, a chair or even correct themselves just in time.

What is the incidence of falls in WA?

Identifying the need for one document, which highlights the incidence of falls in WA Injury Matters, recently developed the 2019 Western Australia Falls Report. This publication highlights a number of statistics regarding the incidence of falls in WA including that;2

  • Falls were the leading cause of injury hospitalisations in 2017 and the leading cause of injury fatalities in 2016.
  • In 2016 there were 336 falls-related fatalities.
  • In 2017 there were 26,338 falls-related hospitalisations.
  • In 2017 there were 43,408 falls-related emergency department attendances.
  • Females experienced a higher rate of falls-related hospitalisations and emergency department attendances than males in 2017.
  • People aged 65+ experienced the highest rate of falls-related fatalities in 2016 and the highest rate of falls-related hospitalisations in 2017.
  • Residents in the Great Southern and South West regions experienced the highest rate of falls-related fatalities.
  • Residents in the Kimberley and Midwest regions experienced the highest rate of falls-related hospitalisations.

Download the report today for more information regarding the incidence of falls-related injuries in WA, falls prevention priority populations, injury diagnosis following a falls-related hospitalisation and the mechanism behind falls-related hospitalisations.

What is the impact on the health system?

In WA in 2017, the 26,338 falls-related hospitalisations resulted in 157,738 annual bed days at an estimated cost of $223,524,324.2

Additional resources:

Injury Matters 2019 Western Australian Falls Report

Know Injury, WA Falls Fact Sheet

AIHW, Trends in hospitalisations due to falls by older people, Australia 2002-03 to 2012-13

WA Department of Health, Incidence and costs of injury in WA 2012

References:

  1. World Health Organization, editor. WHO global report on falls prevention in older age. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2008. 47 p.
  2. Sweeney, R., Meade, R. & Wold, C. Western Australian Falls Report 2019. 28 (Injury Matters, 2019).

Stay On Your Feet® is provided by Injury Matters and funded by the Western Australian Department of Health.

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Government of Western Australia Department of Health Injury Matters