The hypothesis of the fall: what lies behind the death of Elizabeth II

The hypothesis of the fall: what lies behind the death of Elizabeth II
The hypothesis of the fall: what lies behind the death of Elizabeth II
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The hypothesis spread by English sources, according to which Elizabeth II would have died as a result of the consequences of one fall accidental which took place in the Scottish castle of Balmoral, began to spread rapidly in our country as well.

An incident which, as also underlined by the scientific director of the Brescia Geriatric Research Group and president of the Italian Association of Psychogeriatrics Marco Trabucchiit can often have fatal consequences for the elderly. “I certainly don’t want to diagnose the queen’s death”the expert said during an interview granted to theAdnKronos Health. However, if the hypothesis circulated in the last few hours corresponded to what actually happened, there would be nothing to be surprised: “Falls are today one of the main problems of geriatric medicine, one of the most serious, often the fatal event”. “This is why we doctors say that the falls of the elderly must be prevented with absolute determination, as one of the fundamental objectives of assistance for the frail elderly in the most advanced ages”explains Dr. Trabucchi.“Over the age of ninety, when a person has for example a heart disease, cardiorespiratory difficulties, maybe a tumor, the prevention of falls is the most important aspect”the expert points out, “precisely because falling can mean breaking a very difficult and delicate balance, which however existed and lasted for some time”.

In such cases, an accidental fall can cause not only trauma or fractures, but also further ones complications how “a general cardiocirculatory decompensation or often a sudden very violent inflammatory state: all situations that can quickly lead to death”. The only way to act, in the event that the elderly person is cognitively intact, is to warn him of the risks he could face. “It must be made to understand that falling would be the worst thing”suggests the expert, “You have to convince him to ask for help at night if he gets up, or during the day even when he has to walk just a few steps. He must be told to wait, to be accompanied by someone, never to try to overcome himself”.

The same data reported on the portal by the Higher Institute of Health on the basis of the Silver Steps surveillance system confirm the risks. Between 2017 and 2020, 8% of respondents said they had fallen in the 30 days prior to the interview and in 18% of cases it was even necessary to have a hospitalization at least one day. Falls occur mainly in the home (63%), then in the street (21%), in the garden (11%) or elsewhere (6%). As reported by the ISS “Epicenter” portal, “the home is not perceived by the elderly as a place at risk of falls: only one in three respondents consider it a place where the probability of having an injury is high or very high”though“this awareness grows with age (44% among the over 85) and is higher among women (39% versus 26% among men)”.

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From the data reported it also appears that falls are more frequent with advancing age (7% of 65/74 year olds and 12% of over 85 year olds report them) and among women (90% versus 7% in men) . 68% of respondents resort to the use of anti-fall devices at home (such as mats in the bathtub or shower, grab bars or seats), and the use of these objects increases with age (as many as 81% of those over 85). According to the ISS it is “The attention of health workers to the problem of falls among the elderly still seems too low. Only 16% of the interviewees said they received, in the 12 months preceding the interview, advice from a doctor or a health worker on how to avoid falls “.

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The article is in Italian

Tags: hypothesis fall lies death Elizabeth

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