Dangerous Obsternte – health information

Dangerous fruit harvest

Broken bones in senior citizens due to ladder falls pile up at harvest time

(dbp / auh) Trauma surgeons have their hands full all year round. The prevailing causes of accidents vary with the seasons: accident motorcyclists in spring, sports and swimming accidents in summer, fallen pedestrians in autumn and winter. According to the Robert Koch Institute, every fifth accident is a traffic accident. But most accidents happen in the home environment: almost every third accident occurs in the house, in the garden or in the garage. These home accidents increase proportionally with age.

In the late summer, at the time of the fruit tree harvest, the conductor crashes with older humans pile up, informs the German society for accident surgery (DGU). The consequences are often broken bones on the thighs, pelvis, spine and forearm and traumatic brain trauma. Pre-existing conditions such as osteoporosis or the use of blood thinners have a major impact on the effects of falls in seniors.

Uncertain prognosis after bone fracture

The healing process will be strongly influenced by the previously existing diseases and a general “frailty”, explains Professor Reinhard Hoffmann, Secretary General of the DGU and Medical Director of the Accident Insurance Accident Clinic in Frankfurt am Main. “Convalescence can sometimes be very tedious and often associated with an uncertain prognosis regarding the complete restoration of health status and social integration into the familiar environment,” says the trauma surgeon.

Tips from the Agricultural Social Security

Falling ladders, especially among seniors, are also a significant problem from the point of view of the responsible insurers. As explained by the Social Insurance for Agriculture, Forestry and Horticulture (SVLFG): Even at an advanced age, ladders are often climbed and tall fruit trees harvested. Especially when the arms are held over the head, dizziness often occurs. Often too far to the side is bent. “The risk of losing the balance on a ladder increases abruptly from the age of 50”, says the SVLFG.

The main reason for falls is the too long leaning out. Quick one is tempted to reach as many branches as possible from his location. It would be better, however, to change the ladder more often, even if it takes a little more time. Wooden ladders must not be painted in color so that any defects in the wood are clearly visible. On a natural surface, the ladder must be equipped with so-called ladder points. By pressing the tips into the ground, the ladder foot is secured.

The ladder must be leaned against a strong branch or a stable branch fork. So she can not slip, she must be tied tightly there. There are special ladder straps that are more tear-resistant than a conventional rope. The correct angle of attack is about 75 degrees.

Tips from the German accident surgeons:

  • get the circulation going with gymnastics exercises before starting the ladder
  • in particular perform gripping and stretching exercises
  • wear sturdy shoes
  • always hold a hand on the ladder, attach the basket to a ladder or branch by means of a hook

According to the DGU, people who are prone to dizziness or syncope should completely refrain from climbing the ladder, as well as patients with circulatory cardiac arrhythmias, cognitive disorders or impaired motor skills.

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Christina Cherry
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