Seniors' ER visits caused by product-related injuries soar 73%

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Emergency visits by the elderly that were a result of product-related injuries – largely falls – skyrocketed by 73% from 1991 to 2002, according to a recent study.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that among those 75 and older, about 77% of emergency room visits that were associated with consumer products involved falls.

Scenarios included: falls down stairs, transitioning from standing to sitting on furniture, toilets, beds, bathtubs, etc. and falls from tripping over loose carpets, cords and other obstacles on the floor.

In 2002, an estimated 1,451,140 people 65 and older were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms (ERs) for injuries associated with consumer products. Of these adults, 955,540 (66%) were 75 and older. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for males and females 75 and older, according to the National Safety Council.