The West

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Falls accounted for 21 per cent of admissions to WA's Major Trauma Service located at Royal Perth Hospital, statistics from the 2010 and 2011 trauma services report reveal.

State Trauma Centre director Sudakhar Rao said the figures confirmed older people fell more, with injuries from falls compromising both health and quality of life.

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"Falls in older people typically occur from a standing position, and although this does not sound like a great distance to fall, the resulting injuries can be severe," Dr Rao said.

"Falls trauma in seniors often takes the form of fractured hips and head injuries, as those are the parts of the body that usually take the brunt of the fall."

Dr Rao said it was common to see hips fractured in multiple places, often requiring major surgery, in some cases involving a partial hip replacement and prolonged rehabilitation.

Many people who had sustained a fractured hip had a history of one or more minor falls in the preceding two years.

"Such minor falls should be seen as warning signs and prompt a visit to the GP to discuss preventative measures, such as a medication review," he said.

The West Australian

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