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Stair use and injuries

Every year, over one million people in Illinois and throughout the United States are injured from using stairs. Even though women, young children and older adults tend to report the greater number of injuries, people of every age seek emergency care for bumps, fractures, sprains and strains. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the rate of stair-use injuries is rising.

Information from the Census Bureau indicates that almost 50 percent of the nation's homes have stairs. Researchers from the study have also determined that the annual direct and indirect expenses related to non-fatal injuries related to stair use reaches nearly $92 billion each year. This data supports the necessity of enhancing prevention measures.

For the study, researchers examined the information from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System regarding stair-related injuries that received emergency care. The researchers focused on the period from 1990 to 2012.

The information revealed that during that 23-year period, almost 25 million stair-injury patients sought care in emergency rooms. From 1990 to 1996, the rate of injuries dropped by almost 13 percent. However, the injury rates increased from 1996 to 2012 by 24 percent. The study also found that over 60 percent of the stair-related injuries occurred at the home, and women made up 62 percent of all the patients that were seen.

People who sustain injuries while on another party's property might be entitled to damages. If an attorney who practices premises liability law is able to show that the property owner's negligence contributed to the injuries, the victim may obtain financial compensation.

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