September 2015

Fall-related Head Injuries in Adults 65 and over

Adults over 65 have a higher rate of injury from falls than other, younger age groups. It is common for a person to hit their head as they fall, and as a result there are thousands of fall-related head injuries seen in Ontario hospitals each year. 

Using Ontario emergency department (ED) visit and hospital discharge data, this issue of the Ontario Injury Compass discusses risk factors for fall-related head injuries in older adults, as well as evidence-based fall prevention practices.

Referenced in this Report:

Public Health Agency of Canada. (2014).
Seniors’ Falls in Canada: Second Report.

Schonnop, R., et al. (2013). Prevalence of and factors associated with head impact during falls in older adults in long-term care. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 185(17).

Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2006). Head Injuries in Canada: A Decade of Change (1994-1995 to 2003-2004)

Scott, V. (2012). Fall Prevention Programming: Designing, Implementing and Evaluating Fall Prevention Programs for Older Adults. North Carolina: Lulu Publishing.

American Geriatric Society. (2010). 2010 AGS Clinical Practice Guideline: Prevention of Falls in Older Persons Summary of Recommendations.

Additional resources on this topic:

Help Seniors Live Better, Longer: Prevent Brain Injury (CDC resource page)

Gillespie, L.D., et al. (2009). Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration.

Cameron, I.D., et al. (2010). Interventions for preventing falls in older people in nursing care facilities and hospitals (Review). The Cochrane Collaboration.

Related Content

Canadian Falls Prevention Curriculum
Fall Prevention Month Toolkit
Evidence-Informed Practice Recommendations

Ontario Injury Compass provides an analysis of injury issues in Ontario. Each report provides a snapshot of the most recent data available on the given topic.  By signing up, you can automatically receive notification when the reports are released. 

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