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Safety Alert: From the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Date:3/17/2009

ROSEMONT, Ill., March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It happens in an instant, standing one minute, on the ground the next. Just ask Vice President Joe Biden's mother. For 92 year old Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Biden and so many other senior citizens, guarding against taking a tumble is fast becoming a full time job. America's senior citizens are living longer and must now take added precautions to help prevent a fall and a subsequent fracture.

Mrs. Biden is recovering from a broken hip after falling at her home in Delaware. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has some important information and tips for preventing falls and hip fractures in America's elderly population.

  • Each year in the United States more than 11 million senior citizens fall--that's one out of every three people older than 65 years of age which makes it the leading cause of injuries to our senior population.
  • In 2006, 368,000 people were diagnosed for hip fractures.
  • Falls can occur anytime, anyplace and to anyone while doing simple everyday activities like climbing stairs or getting out of a bathtub.
  • The number of falls and the severity of injury increase with age.

Some Medical Risk Factors associated with falls are:

  • Impaired musculoskeletal function, gait abnormality and osteoporosis.
  • Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat), blood pressure fluctuation.
  • Depression, Alzheimer's disease and senility.
  • Arthritis, hip weakness or imbalance.
  • Neurologic conditions, stroke, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis.
  • Urinary and bladder dysfunction.
  • Vision or hearing loss.
  • Cancer that affects bones.

Some Safety Tips for preventing a fall are:

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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