Falls – the socio-economic and medical aspects important for developing prevention and treatment strategies
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Department of Emergency Medical Services, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski University, Kraków, Poland
Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland
Department of Health Economics and Medical Law, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Marcin Mikos   

Department of Emergency Medical Services, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Kraków University, Gustawa Herlinga-Grudzińskiego 1, 30-705, Kraków, Poland
Although falls occur extremely frequently, they are still one of the least investigated causes of death. According to the World Health Organization, around 37.3 million falls occur globally every year resulting in the deaths of over 660,000 adults and almost 30,000 children.

The aim of this review is to evaluate the most up-to-date and comprehensive knowledge on falls and their consequences, especially in populations at the highest risk of fatal falls.

Brief description of state of knowledge:
Currently, there is a limited amount of literature which analyzes falls. Falls affect all age groups, but their location, cause, and severity vary among different populations. Individuals who are particularly at risk of falling at home include younger children and the elderly. Research indicates that falls are one of the main causes of work-related injuries and deaths, especially those occurring at significant heights. Falls in the home environment are the second most common cause of death in over 33% of accidents and the main cause of injury in 41.2% of accidents. During patient hospitalizations, falls generate additional burdens and costs on the healthcare system.

This review elaborated on the nature of falls in different populations and analyzed the influence falls have on the healthcare system, in society, and on the economy. This knowledge is particularly important in an aging society, which will inevitably face increasing problems due to falls in the near future. As the emphasis on falls increases, leaders and lawmakers will be pushed to establish individualized prevention measures, as described in this review, for specific risk groups to effectively prevent falls and their consequences.

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