47,000 elderly falls in US tied to canes, walkers

June 29, 2009 9:29:59 AM PDT
Health officials say more than 47,000 elderly Americans end up in emergency rooms each year from falls involving walkers and canes. That's almost 3 percent of all falls among people 65 and older. Government researchers came up with the estimate by looking at six years of ER medical records. Nearly 9 out of 10 of the injuries involved walkers, rather than canes.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday their study shows that doctors should take more time to better fit patients with walking aids and to teach how to use them safely. The study is being published this month in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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