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Study shows hospital deaths of injured elderly Victorians in aged care are largely due to falls

Photo: Falls leading cause of death for elderly
Hospital deaths of injured elderly Victorians in aged care are mostly due to falls, according to a study.

Falls accounted for more than 80 per cent of hospital deaths following an injury-related admission, according to a report by Monash University's Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit.

The report calls for special attention to ensure the risk of falls is minimised and the impact of falls is reduced as much as possible.

A total of 188 residents in the state's aged care facilities died in hospital during an injury-related hospital admission, during 2014/15 to 2016/17.

Fractures to the hip and thigh region accounted for the largest proportion of deaths.
After falls, choking or suffocation was the second leading cause of death.

In general, falls were the most common cause of injury admissions.

The report authors said the data showed the vulnerability of the elderly in care, especially considering two thirds of deaths were in the 85-94 age group.

The study looked at unintentional injury hospital admissions in Victorians aged 65 years and over living in residential aged-are facilities on a permanent or respite basis.

It called for state and federal funded investigations into injury among older people receiving care in their home, given the trend for older people to remain at home with paid or informal care.

However, while there is greater tendency for older people to live at home for longer, the number of people in residential aged care, and therefore the number of hospital admissions, is also likely to continue growing, it said.

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