The severity of injuries obtained in a slip-and-fall incident can vary from person to person depending on their age and overall physical health, but a certain group tends to occur more often overall. JDSupra notes that such injuries cause around 9 million hospital visits per year, with older adults at particular risk.
Not all slip-and-fall injuries cause serious problems, but many can, and remaining aware of the risks may increase the chances of preventing lengthy hospital stays or long-term trauma.
Traumatic brain injuries
When some people experience a slip-and-fall incident, they may fall backward and strike their head on a hard surface, such as pavement or metal. This can result in a traumatic brain injury. This type of head trauma can result in a variety of long-term symptoms, including:
- Loss of muscle control
- Personality changes
One difficulty concerning a traumatic brain injury is that the symptoms may not present themselves immediately and become apparent later on in the form of a hematoma or other urgent medical emergency.
When older adults slip and fall, they often fall sideways and land on their hips, which results in a serious fracture. In frail individuals, this can result in secondary problems such as infections and fractures that extend to the pelvis. Depending on the severity of the fracture, some affected individuals may require the implantation of an artificial hip and long-term rehabilitation before they can walk under their own power again.
Other bone fractures and spinal injuries can also occur in a slip-and-fall incident. Those affected may want to monitor themselves carefully in the aftermath to ensure no hidden injuries occurred.