Slip-and-fall accidents can lead to serious health complications. If you or a loved one has a fall, you may not notice the symptoms of an injury right away.
Understanding the possible consequences of fall injuries allows you to seek immediate medical attention.
Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions and skull fractures can occur in a fall, even if you have no visible external wounds. Symptoms of TBI may include headaches, dizziness, memory problems and mood changes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 214,000 Americans received hospital care for TBIs in 2020.
Spinal cord injuries
Spine impact in a fall can cause serious spinal cord injuries. These injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis, affecting mobility, sensation and organ function. Immediate medical attention is essential to assess and address the severity of a spinal cord injury.
Slip-and-fall accidents can cause fractures, commonly affecting the wrists, arms, hips and ankles. These injuries may require casting, surgery and physical therapy for recovery.
Soft tissue injuries
Sprains, strains and tears in muscles, ligaments and tendons are common in slip-and-fall accidents. These injuries can lead to pain, swelling and limited mobility. Some soft tissue tears even require surgery.
Contusions and cuts
Bruises and contusions are typically minor, but they can be painful and may indicate underlying damage. You should monitor the severity to avoid complications such as hematoma.
Even small open wounds can become infected without prompt treatment. Keep injuries clean and watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth or drainage. Deep cuts may require stitches.
Emotional and psychological trauma
Aside from physical injuries, slip-and-fall accidents can cause emotional and psychological trauma. Individuals may experience anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Trauma more commonly occurs after severe injuries with long-term health consequences.
Some slip-and-fall injuries lead to chronic pain conditions, affecting your quality of life. Conditions like chronic back pain or fibromyalgia can develop over time as complications of a fall injury.
In severe cases, a slip-and-fall accident can result in long-term disabilities. You may require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation and lifestyle adjustments. Immediate treatment reduces the risk of negative health outcomes from fall injuries.