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When a fall down the stairs constitutes an emergency

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2023 | Slip & Fall Accidents

Walking up and down stairs in a public place should lead you to your preferred destination, not to a hospital. However, a 2018 analysis published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that just over one million individuals received treatment in emergency rooms for falls between 1990 and 2012.

A tumble on the stairs may inflict minor wounds and pain, but sometimes it can cause life-threatening injuries. Here are signs that a fallen person needs emergency help as soon as possible.


If you are near someone who has tripped and fallen on steps and is not responsive afterward, call for emergency aid. The person may have taken a head blow and suffered a brain injury. Even if the individual wakes up, medical help is still warranted as there could be brain bleeding or other harm that might cause imminent death.

Continual bleeding

It is not unusual for bleeding to follow a fall injury, but it is important to staunch the blood flow. Someone who bleeds for over 15 minutes has sustained a serious injury that could lead to hypothermia or other life-threatening conditions stemming from blood loss.

Other health problems

A stair fall can result in symptoms indicating brain or nerve damage. A fallen person could lose sensation in one or more limbs. A strong headache, nausea or a vomiting spell may also occur. Sometimes falls cause confusion or impair speaking ability.

The good news is that most stair injuries do not require a hospital visit, but anyone near a fallen person should make sure that the individual has not suffered serious injuries, particularly if the person is a child or a senior citizen. If the stairs were not safe to use, the property owner may also incur liabilities for the fall.