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Tripping over the dog

Discussion in 'Gerontology' started by Hylton Menz, Jan 12, 2005.

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  1. Hylton Menz

    Hylton Menz Guest


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    Interesting paper from the December issue of the Medical Journal of Australia :

    Kurrle SE, Day R, Cameron ID. The perils of pet ownership: a new fall-injury risk factor.Med J Aust. 2004 Dec 6;181(11-12):682-3.

    OBJECTIVE: To describe fall-related injuries due to pets in an older population. DESIGN: Case series. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Patients aged 75 years and over presenting to the emergency department of a metropolitan hospital in northern Sydney over 18 months, with a fracture directly related to their pet. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Type of fracture; circumstances of injury. RESULTS: 16 cases (mean patient age, 81 years) are described; 13 (81%) involved women. Animals of five species were involved, with cats and dogs being the most common pet hazard. CONCLUSIONS: Pets are a potential environmental hazard in the occurrence of fall-related injuries in older people, with dogs and cats most likely to be involved. Women appear more likely than men to be injured.​

    You can view the full text for free here.

    Quite amusing (particularly the "Tripped over cat, landed on cat. Cat deceased" bit). However, there's a serious message here relating to the role of pets as an additional environmental risk factor for falls. Compared to other household hazards, pets are a lot more mobile (with the possible exception of the aforementioned cat) and therefore pose a far less predictable hazard.

    Problem is, there's lots of benefits of pet ownership (including increased longevity), so we probably shouldn't be recommending that Mrs Jones send Rover off to the vet just yet.

    Cheers,

    Hylton
     
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