What if I fall at home?

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
As a result of certain diseases associated with aging such as osteoporosis (oss-tee-oh-puh-ROW-sis), tripping and falling can be extremely dangerous, but knowing what to do in the event of an accident can greatly reduce your risk of further injury. First and foremost, if you're injured in a fall, it's imperative that you get help immediately. However, if you believe that you've broken a bone, you must be especially cautious to remain as still as possible. If no one is within hearing distance, and you don't have a medical alert device, then you should move carefully to the nearest phone and call emergency services. What you do next depends on the type of injury you've suffered. If you're bleeding, then you should try to stop the flow of blood by applying pressure to the wound. If you believe that you've broken an arm or leg, then it's a good idea to support the affected limb above and below the injury with padding such as towels or cushions. While you're waiting for help, you should avoid eating and drinking in case your treatment involves any anesthesia. If you suspect that you've injured your back, lie down and wait for assistance. For more information about what to do if you fall, consult your physician.

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