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Palmetto Health Recognizes National Falls Prevention Awareness Day
09/11/2013
Palmetto Health recognizes Sunday, Sept. 22, as National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. In support of the event, the Palmetto Health Richland Trauma Center and the Trauma Association of South Carolina (TASC) are joining together to take proactive steps to prevent falls among seniors.

The Palmetto Health Richland Trauma Center is the only American College of Surgeons (ACS) verified Level I Trauma Center in the Midlands and one of only two in the state, treating the area's most critically ill and injured patients. Two out of every ten trauma admissions over the age of 60 are for fall related injuries. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for older adults. The chances of falling and of being seriously injured in a fall increases with age.

“Falls among older adults is a public health issue that must be addressed collectively throughout the state. The Trauma Association of South Carolina created an Injury Prevention Subcommittee to reduce the prevalence and burden of older adult falls through education, awareness and prevention,” said Nichole Spivey, injury prevention coordinator at Palmetto Health Richland and co-chair of the TASC Injury Prevention Subcommittee.

Throughout South Carolina, trauma centers will be celebrating Falls Prevention Awareness Day by providing information on how to prevent older adult falls. Studies show that a combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls among older adults. TASC recommends:
• Installing grab bars and handrails throughout your home as needed.
• Considering a medical alert monitoring system that offers a fall detector.
• Turning on lights, even if it wakes others. Many falls occur in the evenings when no lights are on.
• Slowing down. Many falls could be avoided by taking your time.
• Mixing alcohol and some medication can be dangerous. Medication side effects, such as drowsiness, may be increased with alcohol.
• Carrying a cordless phone or cell phone with you at all times, in case of an emergency.
• Getting rid of throw rugs and low lying furniture because peripheral vision decreases with age.
• Using a walking assist device, if you need one.

For more information on falls among older adults, visit SC-Trauma.org. To learn more about the Palmetto Health Richland Trauma Center, visit PalmettoHealth.org/Trauma.

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About the Palmetto Health Trauma Center
The Palmetto Health Richland Trauma Center is the only American College of Surgeons (ACS) verified Level I Trauma Center in the Midlands and one of only two in the state. ACS Level I Trauma Center status is the highest ranking a hospital can achieve. The trauma team at Palmetto Health Richland is a multidisciplinary team composed of trauma and specialty surgeons, emergency medicine and other specialty physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers and other health care professionals. This multidisciplinary team provides care for the area’s most critically ill and injured patients.

About the Trauma Association of South Carolina
The Trauma Association of South Carolina (TASC) is an organization of health care professionals dedicated to improving the care of trauma victims across the state of South Carolina. Currently 16 hospitals are members of TASC: Palmetto Health Richland, Medical University of S.C., Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, Greenville Memorial Medical Center, McLeod Regional Medical Center, Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, AnMed Health, Roper Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital/St. Francis, East Cooper Medical Center, Trident Medical Center, Lexington Medical Center, Piedmont Medical Center, Self Regional Healthcare, Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center and Carolinas Hospital System.