24 people/day visit an ER in Grey-Bruce after a fall; health unit issues ‘call to action’ to prevent falls




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The emergency room at the Owen Sound hospital. POSTMEDIA FILE PHOTO
The emergency room at the Owen Sound hospital. POSTMEDIA FILE PHOTO

Every day in Grey-Bruce, an average of 24 people visit a hospital emergency room due to a fall-related injury.

About two to three of those people will require hospitalization.

Those are among the most alarming statistics in a new “call to action” report by the Grey Bruce Health Unit, which asks all sectors and organizations in the region – from municipalities, health care agencies and school boards to child care providers, private sector partners and residents – to work collaboratively to prevent falls.

“We were noticing that there is a significantly higher rate of falls in Grey-Bruce compared to the Ontario average. Youth 15 to 24, for example, actually have a 124 per cent higher rate of emergency visits due to falls in Grey-Bruce,” health promoter Lena Sherazy said Wednesday about what prompted public health’s call to action.

“Our plan, because we put out this call to action, is to talk to these different sectors. I really do feel that it’s a role that everyone has to play. Definitely awareness is part of it and getting people to understand the different risk factors and what they can do to protect themselves.”

Public health says falls and fall-related injuries cost Ontario $2.8 billion annually. Locally, the agency says falls represent a “significant public health issue” for people of all ages.

The 47-page report says Grey-Bruce has a 72 per cent higher rate of emergency room visits due to falls across all age groups compared to…