CIHI: Falls from ladders send 23 people a day to Ontario emergency departments

Over half of incidents occurred around the home

November 8, 2006�In Ontario, 8,366 people visited an emergency department (ED) because of a fall from a ladder in 2004�2005, according to new data released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The autumn season, when people are preparing their homes for winter or cleaning up around the garden, accounted for the highest number of visits to the ED (3,211) and the highest number of admissions to hospital (403) for falls from ladders. The number of emergency department visits for falls from ladders peaked in November, with 903 visits, translating into an average of 30 visits per day to EDs across Ontario during that month. In 2003�2004, 1,231 or 16% of all cases seen in the ED due to falls from ladders were admitted to an Ontario hospital for at least one night.

The majority (66%) of incidents involving ladders occurred in the home, followed by locations such as construction and industrial sites (18%). The most frequently seen injuries due to a fall from a ladder were fractures of the leg or ankle (43%) and broken upper limbs (30%). People between the ages of 40 and 59 accounted for nearly half of the visits to EDs (3,762 or 45%).

The highest rate of ED visits for falls from ladders was recorded in the region of northern Ontario (including Sudbury and Thunder Bay) with a rate of 99.6 per 100,000 population, followed by the south-west region (including London and Windsor) with a rate of 83.9 per 100,000 population. By comparison, the lowest rate was in the Toronto region with a rate of 40.0 per 100,000 population. Falls are the number one cause of hospitalization for injuries in Ontario and Canada.

About CIHI

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) collects and analyzes information on health and health care in Canada and makes it publicly available. Canada�s federal, provincial and territorial governments created CIHI as a not-for-profit, independent organization dedicated to forging a common approach to Canadian health information. CIHI�s goal: to provide timely, accurate and comparable information. CIHI�s data and reports inform health policies, support the effective delivery of health services and raise awareness among Canadians of the factors that contribute to good health.