FAQ: When Should I Call 911 After a Fall?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 28, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

When should I call 911 after a fall?

Expert Answers

Dr. Leslie Kernisan is a senior medical editor at Caring.com and a clinical instructor in the University of California, San Francisco, Division of Geriatrics. She also provides housecalls and geriatric consultations in San Francisco.

In general, you should call 911 after a fall if the person is:

  • Unconscious or is having difficulty regaining consciousness

  • Showing signs of an obvious fracture

  • In a lot of pain

  • Showing signs of an acute medical problem that could have caused the fall, including chest pain, shortness of breath, extreme weakness, or signs of stroke

In the absence of the above alarm symptoms, you'll still want to watch the person carefully after a fall, ideally for a few hours at least.

Community Answers

Lcshafer answered...

You did not mention that if they hit their head; they need to go to the hospital for a CT scan. They could be bleeding in the brain. My mom has fallen over 80 times in the last 2 years. She has hit her head at least 5 times, but no bleeding. And only fractured 3 ribs in all of the falls. Thank God!