Maidan et reported a new definition for a near fall. The presence of near falls is associated with increased risk for completed falls. The authors are from Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University and Harvard Medical School.

Definition of a near fall:

(1) stumble event or loss of balance

(2) potential for fall

(3) fall prevented by 2 or more recovery/compensatory mechanisms


This definition differs from a previous definition by emphasizing the recovery/compensatory mechanisms


Recovery and compensatory mechanisms:

(1) unplanned movement of arms and/or legs

(2) unplanned change in stride length

(3) lowering of the center of mass

(4) unplanned change in stride velocity

(5) trunk tilt


Near falls are difficult to provoke and vary with conditions. Capturing a near fall on video may be necessary to classify all of the mechanisms being used for that instance.

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