Roy Danks, DO, medical director of trauma, recently shared data and fall prevention strategies with members of SIH’s Second Act program during an “Eat and Educate” program, a service provided to community members age 50 and older.

He shared that head injuries and hip fractures are leading complications from falls among patients treated at the trauma center.

"In 2021, we took care of 134 hip fractures. Most of those were among patients in their 80’s with the average age just a little over 85. We also see head injuries more commonly as people are living longer and having other medical conditions. Many patients are placed on blood thinners for a variety of reasons. That increases the risk of having complications as a result of the injuries,” said Dr. Danks.

Fall-Related Injury Data

  • Of the 134 falls treated at MHC in 2021, most were from ground-level or lower (like from a chair).
  • Only nine of the 134 were from ladders, steps or stairs.
  • Most patients spent five days in the hospital.
  • 95% of hip fractures are from ground-level falls.
  • Broken ribs are also a common fall-related injury. Dr. Danks said every broken rib increases the chance of dying by 20%.

Dr. Roy Danks on Falls

For ways to prevent a fall, Dr. Danks said a good first step is a conversation with your physician to evaluate your list of current medications. Review your need for blood-thinners, platelet inhibitors, acid reflux and blood pressure medications which can make you more vulnerable to falls.

Additional Fall Prevention Strategies:

  • Perform strength and balance exercises (like Tai Chi) to strengthen legs and improve balance.
  • Avoid ladders. If you must use a ladder, have a spotter on-site to help you.
  • Ensure your home has ample lighting. Add more or brighter light bulbs.
  • Add grab bars inside & outside bathtub/shower and next to toilet.
  • Remove things you could trip over (throw rugs, etc.)
  • Install railings on both sides of stairs.
  • Schedule routine eye exams.


Dr. Danks was the first in a series of speakers who will be discussing "When to Call 911." Our next event focuses on heart attacks. It takes place on June 19th. 

If you'd be interested in joining the SIH Second Act program and taking part in future events click here