Vol. 64, No. 36
September 18, 2015
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Announcement: National Fall Prevention Awareness Day — September 23, 2015
WeeklySeptember 18, 2015 / 64(36);1017
Annually in the United States, 2.5 million persons aged ≥65 years are treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls, resulting in $34 billion in direct medical costs (1). Given these costs, the aging U.S. population, and the increasing fall death rates (2), falls have become a major risk to the health of older persons in the United States.
In conjunction with the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, CDC launched the implementation of the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) initiative for healthcare providers. STEADI uses established clinical guidelines and scientifically tested interventions to help providers address their patients' risk for falls, identify modifiable risk factors, and provide effective interventions (3). Free online training with continuing education is available and electronic health record vendors (Epic and GE Centricity) are developing STEADI modules to help incorporate fall prevention into clinical practice. For every 5,000 providers adopting STEADI over a 5-year period, one million additional falls could be avoided, saving an additional $3.5 billion in direct medical costs (4).
National Fall Prevention Awareness Day is September 23. As part of the campaign, health care providers are encouraged to do the following:
- Screen patients by asking if they have fallen in the past year, feel unsteady, or worry about falling
- Review patients' medications and stop, switch, or reduce the dose of drugs that increase the risk for falls
- Recommend daily vitamin D with calcium
Additional information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/steadi.