Falls and falls-related injuries continue to be a significant public health issue in Western Australia, ranking as the leading cause of injury hospitalisations in 2020. Bringing attention to the incidence of falls-related fatalities, hospitalisations and emergency department attendances in WA and the need to implement effective falls prevention initiatives, Injury Matters has released the 2022 Western Australian Falls Report.
The Report highlights a number of WA statistics, including that;
- A Western Australian died every 25 hours in 2019, was hospitalised every 17 minutes in 2020 and attended the emergency department every 13 minutes in 2020 due to a falls-related injury.
- The 31,708 falls-related hospitalisations in 2020 resulted in 239,669 hospital bed days and cost an estimated $286,290,884.
- On average 7.6 days was spent in hospital per falls-related admission in 2020.
- On average 84 falls incidents required an ambulance attendance per day in 2020 (n=30,918).
- Females experienced a higher rate of falls-related hospitalisations and emergency department attendances than males in 2020.
- Residents in regional WA continue to experience a high burden of falls, with the highest rate of falls-related incidents recorded in the Kimberley and Goldfields regions.
This Report reinforces the frequent and growing impact that falls has on the WA community. The increase in the number of falls-related hospitalisations and the average length of stay in hospital due to falls-related incidents in WA since 2017, has attributed to an increase in the total number of hospital bed days and the estimated total cost of falls-related admissions over the last four years.
The increasing trends in this Report speak for themselves and confirm that despite a global pandemic dominating the health landscape over the last two years, we cannot become complacent with our falls prevention efforts.
Fortunately, WA has a dedicated falls prevention sector that collectively ensures that a systematic approach is applied to falls prevention initiatives and continuously advocates for the need for additional prevention activities. To ensure we continue to grow WA’s falls prevention initiatives, you are encouraged to utilise this report to further understand the current state of falls in WA and be a champion for change by ensuring that falls prevention is a priority for your organisation.
Injury Matters developed the 2022 WA Falls Report with funding from the Western Australian Department of Health.