New report says falls are top injury responded to by Wisconsin EMS

A new report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services finds that falls are a leading cause of injury and death in Wisconsin, according to a recent press release. The report, EMS and Falls in Wisconsin, shows that, in 2022, emergency medical services (EMS) providers responded to over 130,000 falls across the state, the top injury they responded to.

The report highlights data submitted to the Wisconsin Ambulance Run Data System and the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) by EMS providers across the state.

Key findings include:

  • EMS providers responded to 25,055 more falls in 2022 than in 2019;
  • The number of falls EMS responds to is increasing by nearly 10,000 per year statewide, with an average increase of 7.4% per year since 2019;
  • Falls made up 18% of 911-related ambulance runs in 2022; and
  • Private residences are the most common place that EMS responds to falls or fall-related injuries. Over four years, falls in private residences increased by about 5,000 falls per year, or an average increase of 7.3% per year.

While not all falls cause fatal injuries, they still impact health and well-being in other ways, causing long-term health conditions stemming from injuries or loss of confidence and independence for those who experience a fall.

According to the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA), most falls happen in and around the home. Vision problems, medications, poor lighting, loss of balance and strength, even some kinds of footwear are all factors that can lead to a fall. Falls Free Wisconsin has information, tools, and resources to help people make changes that address these challenges.