Slips and falls are the No. 1 cause of Emergency Department visits in New Brunswick – here’s how you can stay safe this winter

Horizon, together with Trauma NB, are providing the public with tips to stay upright this winter and avoid an unnecessary visit to the hospital

HORIZON – Nearly 40,000 New Brunswickers visit an Emergency Department (ED) every year after slipping, tripping or falling and coming into contact with the ground.

According to statistics from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), injuries sustained because of a fall are – by far – the No. 1 reason for ED visits in New Brunswick and across Canada.

Although people of all ages are susceptible to fall-related injuries, seniors are at the most risk.

CIHI data from the 2021-22 fiscal year shows that of the 658,000 Canadians who visited an ED after falling and injuring themselves, 75 per cent of those that required hospitalization were over the age of 65.

“Falls are a significant health risk for older adults,” said Dr. Richard Louis, injury prevention specialist with Trauma NB. “As we age, we are more likely to sustain serious injuries when we fall. Unfortunately, this may lead to negative health and lifestyle impacts, including a loss of independence.” 

While the average age of those presenting to Horizon emergency departments with injuries due to a fall is 70 years old, it remains the leading cause of injury among people of all ages.

Every year, falls-related injuries cost the New Brunswick health care system about $250 million, representing the largest single contributor to the total cost of injury in the province.

In addition, over 1,800 patients seek medical care in Horizon emergency departments due to falls each year, with about 70 per cent of these cases resulting in fractures, with the numbers being at their highest during the winter months, when conditions are slippery.

Horizon and Trauma NB’s websites include a wealth of information and tips for how you can minimize your risk of slips, trips and falls when walking on icy surfaces, regardless of your age.

To learn about additional steps older adults should take to help prevent falls, we encourage you to visit, which includes helpful resources, including the Staying Independent Checklist, and fall prevention videos.


For more information contact:

Kris McDavid

Media Relations