1. Berg, Gina M. PhD, MBA
  2. Carlson, Tara MS, RN
  3. Fairchild, Joanne RN
  4. Edwards, Courtney MSN, MPH, RN, CCRN, CEN, TCRN
  5. Sorell, Ryan MD


Each year approximately 1 in 4 healthy older adults aged 65+ years and 1 in 2 aged 80+ years living in the community will fall. Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of death and disability and cost the United States approximately $31 billion annually. Currently, no repository of scene data exists that informs prevention programs regarding circumstances that contribute to older adult falls. This was a multicenter (4 sites: Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, and Texas) pilot study consisting of interviews of older (55+ years) patients who had been admitted to a trauma center with fall-related injuries. Questions included information regarding environment, behaviors, injuries, and demographics. Additional information was abstracted from patient medical record: comorbidities, medications, and discharge information. Data are presented descriptively. Forty-nine patients were interviewed: average age was 78 years; White (93.9%); female (53.1%); and most (63.3%) had fallen before. The most commonly reported fall factors and injuries included those occurring at home without agency services (65.0%), on hard flooring (51.1%), with laced shoes (44.2%), and with walkers (36.7%) and contained contusion/open wound of head (61.2%). Survey time was anecdotally estimated at 10-15 min. Preliminary data suggest that prevention efforts should emphasize on educating older adults to focus on ambulation, body position, and use of assistive devices in their daily activities. The development of a systematic and organized registry that documents scene data would inform public health agencies to develop fall prevention programs that promote older adult safety. Furthermore, it would provide a large sample size to test factor associations with injury severity.