Sup­port for Idea Na­tion

Eastern Courier - - Notices News -

St John Am­bu­lance Of­fi­cers see many pre­ventable falls, some of which re­sult in se­vere brain in­jury or death, and the ser­vice sup­ports ACC’S Idea Na­tion ini­tia­tive which aims to re­duce them.

St John clin­i­cal di­rec­tor Tony Smith says most falls oc­cur in the home, not in the work­place and many of these falls, in par­tic­u­lar from lad­ders and roofs, are avoid­able.

ACC es­ti­mates falls in the home af­fected the liveli­hoods of around 41,000 Auck­lan­ders last year (2011).

The es­ti­mated so­cial and eco­nomic cost of all falls in 2010 was $1.8 bil­lion and half of all falls hap­pen in and around the home.

Dr Smith says the risk of such falls can be re­duced by en­sur­ing lad­ders are al­ways se­cured and when pos­si­ble, pay­ing pro­fes­sion­als to do main­te­nance work on roofs and gut­ters.

‘‘Falls down stairs due to al­co­hol in­tox­i­ca­tion are also a sig­nif­i­cant cause of pre­ventable in­jury and death.’’

To help pre­vent falls, ACC is launch­ing a na­tion­wide com­pe­ti­tion called Idea Na­tion and is call­ing on all New Zealan­ders to come up with ideas to re­duce the num­ber and sever­ity of falls. St John is sup­port­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

Falls are the lead­ing cause of hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions among the work­ing age pop­u­la­tion in New Zealand. There is no sin­gle cause or rea­son for the high rate of falls. ACC has listed rush­ing, wet sur­faces, dark­ness, tired­ness, heights, dis­trac­tion, un­ex­pected haz­ards on the floor, and al­co­hol as fac­tors that play a part in falls.

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