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LSUHSC FACULTY AND STUDENTS HOPE 1ST DAY OF FALL ISN’T

New Orleans, LA – In an effort to reduce the 9,600 hospitalizations for fall-related injuries, $160 million cost, and 150 Louisiana deaths each year from falls, Occupational Therapy faculty and students from the School of Allied Health Professions at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans have organized a Fall Prevention event that is free and open to the public. It will take place on September 22, 2009, the first day of fall, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 3700 Canal Street. In addition to the LSUHSC Department of Occupational Therapy, participants include the LSUHSC Department of Physical Therapy, the Department of Medicine in the LSUHSC School of Medicine, and the Department of Community Nursing in the LSUHSC School of Nursing. They will present information on fall risk factors, medication management, the importance of physical activity, home safety, and fall prevention strategies. There will also be tables with resources and information from a number of agencies and companies.

Fall injuries can result in hip fractures, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, nursing home admissions, disability and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for persons older than 65 years.

The LSUHSC faculty recommend that the elderly adopt an exercise program to improve balance and coordination, have their medications reviewed because some medicines or combinations of medicines can contribute to falls, have their vision checked because poor vision can increase the chance of falling, and install safety features in the home including removing or securing trip hazards like area rugs.

Other sponsors and collaborators include the Louisiana Fall Prevention Coalition and the Office of Public Health Injury Research and Prevention Program.

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LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana’s health care professionals. The state’s academic health leader, LSUHSC comprises a School of Medicine, the state’s only School of Dentistry, Louisiana’s only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSUHSC faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSUHSC research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact, LSUHSC faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit http://www.lsuhsc.edu and http://www.twitter.com/LSUHSCHealth.

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