How Frequently Do People Die From a Fall in Oregon?

Did You Know That Falls Are One of the Leading Causes of Death in Oregon?

In Oregon, falls can be a serious concern, and understanding the frequency of accidental deaths resulting from falls is significant. Read our informative article to learn more about how frequently people die from falls in Oregon and how you can stay safe.

In Oregon, fatal falls are a leading cause of death, especially among the elderly population. Each year, a significant number of individuals in Oregon die as a result of falls. The rate of fatal falls among persons age 85 years and older is 21 times greater than for those age 65–74 years. [1]

In 2022, falls represented about two-thirds of all injury hospitalizations in Oregon. In addition, falls are the second leading cause of injury deaths in Oregon, following only drug overdoses.

According to Oregon’s Public Health Division, the state recorded 253 deaths and 13,144 emergency department visits related to falls in the year 2022. Compared to previous years, there has been a concerning increase in fall-related deaths and injuries. [2]

During the period between 2020 and 2022, Lane County (306) and Multnomah County (286) in Oregon had the highest fatal falls, with the vast majority of them occurring among older adults. Deschutes, Washington, and Clackamas counties followed closely. [2]

Meanwhile, the highest death rates were recorded in Deschutes and Crook counties. [2] These figures highlight the gravity of fall-related incidents and the imperative need for increased awareness and safety measures.

Statistics on Fall-Related Deaths and Injuries in Oregon

Understanding the Causes of Falls in Oregon

Fall-related deaths and injuries can be attributed to various causes, and understanding these factors is essential for prevention. Common causes of fall-related incidents include:

  • Age-related Factors: Older adults are more susceptible to falls due to factors such as reduced balance, declining vision, and muscle weakness.
  • Environmental Hazards: Uneven surfaces, slippery floors, poorly maintained walkways, and unsanitary conditions contribute to a significant number of falls.
  • Footwear: Improper footwear, including shoes with inadequate grip or high heels, can contribute to slips and falls.
  • Inadequate Training: Lack of awareness and training on fall prevention measures for individuals in high-risk occupations or environments.
  • Lack of Safety Measures: The absence of handrails, inadequate lighting, and insufficient safety measures in public spaces or homes increase the risk of falls.
  • Medical Conditions: Chronic conditions, medications such as blood pressure medications or diuretics, and neurological disorders can increase the likelihood of falls.
  • Physical Inactivity: Lack of regular physical activity can lead to muscle weakness and reduced flexibility, increasing the likelihood of falls.
  • Poor Vision: Vision impairments or untreated eye conditions may lead to misjudging distances and obstacles, resulting in falls.
  • Alcohol Impairment: Alcohol can impair coordination and balance, contributing to falls.
  • Weather Conditions: Slippery or icy conditions during inclement weather contribute to a higher risk of falls, especially in colder regions.
  • Workplace Hazards: Occupational settings with potential hazards, such as improper use of ladders and scaffolding, lack of fall protection equipment, and insufficient warning signs, may result in fatal workplace injuries.

Types of Injuries Resulting From Falls

Falls can result in a range of mild to fatal injuries. Common types of injuries resulting from falls include:

  • Contusions and Bruises: An impact with the ground or objects can cause contusions and bruises.
  • Concussions: A sudden impact to the head may cause a concussion, leading to symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, and headaches.
  • Cuts and Abrasions: Contact with sharp objects or rough surfaces can lead to cuts and abrasions.
  • Displaced Teeth: Falls can result in the displacement or loss of teeth, particularly in face-first impacts.
  • Dislocations: Joints may become dislocated, particularly in the shoulders and elbows, due to the impact of a fall.
  • Facial Injuries: Falls can result in facial injuries, including fractures of the nose, jaw, or cheekbones.
  • Fractures: Fractures, particularly of the hip, wrist, and spine, are common in falls, especially among older adults. One of the most serious fall-related injuries is a hip fracture. [1]
  • Head and Neck Injuries: Falls may result in head and neck injuries, ranging from minor concussions to more severe head trauma.
  • Hematoma: Blood may accumulate under the skin, forming a hematoma, due to the impact of a fall.
  • Internal Injuries: Falls can cause internal injuries, including damage to organs such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys.
  • Psychological Impact: In addition to physical injuries, falls can cause mental health issues, including increased fear of falling and reduced confidence in one’s mobility.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Damage to soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, can occur, causing pain and limited mobility.
  • Sprains and Strains: Ligaments and muscles can be stretched or torn, leading to sprains and strains.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries:

    Severe falls may cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis or other neurological deficits.

Types of Injuries Resulting From Falls

Preventing or reducing fall-related incidents in Oregon requires a multifaceted approach that addresses various risk factors. Here are several strategies to enhance fall prevention:

  • Assistive Devices: Use appropriate assistive devices, such as canes or walkers, if needed, to provide stability and support.
  • Community Programs: Participate in community-based fall prevention programs that offer exercise classes and educational resources.
  • Fall Risk Assessment: Conduct fall risk assessments, especially for older adults, to identify and address potential hazards.
  • Footwear Selection: Wear appropriate, well-fitting footwear with non-slip soles to prevent slips and trips.
  • Employee Training: Provide training for employees in high-risk occupations to raise awareness of fall hazards and preventive measures.
  • Environmental Safety: Remove clutter, secure loose rugs, and install grab bars in bathrooms to create a safer living environment.
  • Home Modifications: Ensure homes are well-lit with non-slip flooring, and install handrails on staircases to reduce the risk of falls at home.
  • Medication Review: Periodically review medications with healthcare professionals to identify potential side effects that may affect balance or coordination.
  • Regular Health Check-Ups: Schedule regular health check-ups to monitor overall health and identify conditions that may contribute to falls.
  • Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect public spaces, workplaces, and recreational areas for potential fall hazards, addressing issues promptly.
  • Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
  • Vision Check-ups: Schedule regular eye exams to maintain optimal vision, as poor eyesight increases the risk of falls.

If you find yourself in need of legal advice regarding fall-related incidents or if you are uncertain about your legal options, reach out to our team of personal injury lawyers for guidance and support.


The rate of fatal falls among persons aged 85 years and older is 21 times greater than for those aged 65–74 years in Oregon.
Common factors contributing to fatal falls include older age, environmental hazards such as uneven surfaces or lack of handrails, and health conditions that affect balance and mobility. Substance abuse and alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of falls and fatal injuries.
Fall prevention resources such as Tai Chi, Stepping On, fall prevention tool kits, etc. are available in Oregon. Organizations such as the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Patient Safety Commission also provide information, and educational materials on fall prevention for both healthcare professionals and the general public.


[1] Falls Among Older Adults in Oregon. (n.d.). Oregon Public Health Division. Retrieved January 25, 2024, from

[2] FALL-RELATED INJURIES, DEATHS, AND PREVENTION. (n.d.). Oregon PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION. Retrieved January 20, 2024, from

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