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Accidents from falls cost society billions every year. Photo:Jessica Gow

Falling down costs society billions

Every day, more than 800 Swedes need emergency treatment in hospital after a fall.

Taking a tumble, for whatever reason, is the most common cause of accident in Sweden and costs society $3.3 billion every year, according to research by The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency(MSB).

"If this development continues at the same rate, then hospitals in Sweden will not have room for other accident victims, there will be only people lying there with broken hips etc," Jan Schyllander from MSB told the news agency TT.

Most falls are in the home, others happen on pavements or at work or playing sport.

The problem will be exacerbated in the winter months when the snow finally arrives.

"As soon as the snow and ice comes we see an enormous increase in the number of fall-related accidents," physiotherapist Annika Lindqvist at the IFK clinic in Gothenburg told TT.

"A badly injured hip is not much fun," Annika Lindqvist says, but several fractures in the foot "are even worse because the rehabilitation time can become very long."

Stina Hedin, another physio, told TT of a woman who who slipped on some porridge in her kitchen and a man who fell while out walking his dog.

"There was a hole in the pavement covered by leaves and I didn't see it," said dog walker Johan Otterstig to TT.

1,600 people died after a fall last year. 

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