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2021 Western Australian Falls Report released

Falls and falls-related injuries continue to be a significant public health issue in Western Australia, ranking as the leading cause of injury hospitalisations in 2019.

Bringing attention to the incidence of falls-related fatalities, hospitalisations and emergency department attendances in WA and the need to implement effective falls prevention initiatives, Injury Matters has released the 2021 Western Australian Falls Report.

The report highlights a number of WA statistics, including that;

  • A Western Australian died every 26 hours in 2018, was hospitalised every 17 minutes in 2019 and attended the emergency department every 12 minutes in 2019 due to a falls-related injury.
  • The 29,350 falls-related hospitalisations in 2019 resulted in 209,770 hospital bed days, at an estimated cost of $252,333,249.
  • On average 7.1 days was spent in hospital per falls-related admission in 2019.
  • Over half of all falls-related hospitalisations occurred in the home or an aged care facility in 2019.
  • 4% (n=29,866) of St John WA ambulance attendances to the ED in 2019 were the result of a falls-related incident.
  • In 2019, falls were the cause of over 1 in 6 hospitalisations and 1 in 10 ED attendances to individuals aged 85 years and over.
  • Females experienced a higher rate of falls-related hospitalisations and emergency department attendances than males in 2019.
  • Residents in regional WA continue to experience a high burden of falls, with the highest rate of falls-related incidents recorded in the Kimberley and Goldfields regions.

This report reinforces the frequent and growing impact that falls has on the WA community. The increase in the number of falls-related hospitalisations and the average length of stay in hospital due to falls-related incidents in WA since 2017, has attributed to an increase in the total number of hospital bed days and the estimated total cost of falls-related admissions over the last three years.

Western Australia is fortunate to have a committed multidisciplinary falls prevention sector, who conduct comprehensive falls prevention initiatives across our state. However, there is an ongoing need to increase community members falls prevention awareness and skills, provide additional support to individuals in high-risk settings, reorient health services to identify and support at-risk individuals and build public policy to support falls prevention activities.

To ensure we continue to grow WA’s falls prevention initiatives, we encourage you to utilise this report to further understand the current state of falls in WA and be a champion for change by ensuring that falls prevention is a priority for your organisation.

Click here to download the 2021 WA Falls Report.

Injury Matters developed the 2021 WA Falls Report with funding from the Western Australian Department of Health.

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
Injury Matters acknowledge the Whadjuk Noongar people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work, and recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continuing connection to land, waters and community across Western Australia.