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BMC study shows diverting passengers to elevators could help reduce falls at Logan Airport
Date:4/12/2012

(Boston) A first of its kind study conducted by researchers at Boston Medical Center (BMC)'s Injury Prevention Center (IPC) found that one fall requiring first responder emergency medical services response occurs, on average, approximately every 56 hours at Boston Logan International Airport, with 37 percent of those incidents involving transport to a hospital. The study, which was done at the request of the Massachusetts Port Authority and Massport Fire/Rescue, concludes that diverting at-risk passengers from escalators to elevators could significantly reduce the number of falls.

Jonathan Howland, PhD, MPH, MPA, executive director of BMC's IPC and professor of emergency medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Sophia Dyer, MD, medical director for Boston EMS and associate professor of emergency medicine at BUSM, led this study to determine the incidence of the falls at Logan Airport, identify potential causes and make suggestions on how to mitigate risk for falls.

The study results, which are currently published online in the Journal of Safety Research, have led Massport to implement an action plan to reduce the number of falls.

According to Federal Aviation Administration statistics, Logan Airport is the nineteenth busiest airport in the U.S. and is New England's largest transportation center. In 2011, Logan Airport served 28,900,000 passengers, representing an all-time high number of passengers and a 5 percent increase from 2010.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that falls are the leading cause of injury death among older adults age 65 and over and the most common cause of non-fatal injuries. Most studies of older adult falls report that about half occur at home, but there is a lack of definitive data about falls that occur in public buildings, including airports.

The research team used anonymous incident reports of all falls that required response from Masspo
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Contact: Jenny Eriksen
jenny.eriksen@bmc.org
617-638-6841
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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