Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, 88, Has Passed Away After Falling at Home

Rep. Louise Slaughter, who served New York’s 25th District for over three decades, has died. (Photo: Louise Slaughter’s Office)

Louise M. Slaughter, Liberal Democrat and Champion of women’s rights who represented an upstate New York district in Congress for over three decades, has passed away. She was 88 and in the midst of her 16th term in the House.

On March 14, 2018, Slaughter was hospitalized at George Washington University after falling in her Washington D.C. home. She suffered a concussion, and two days later on March 16, 2018, passed away from her injuries.

Slaughter Fought for Women’s Rights

According to the New York Times, Slaughter was the first woman to chair the powerful House Committee on Rules and was serving as its ranking member. She was a relentless fighter for families across the nation and authored the landmark Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, among many other accomplishments. Slaughter also fought for funding research for women’s health issues, victims of domestic violence and pro-choice causes.

Falls Accidents Number One Cause of Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Brain Injury Research Institue a concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), is caused by a bump, hit, or jolt to either the head or the body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. A concussion changes how the brain normally functions. Concussions can have serious and long-term health effects, and even a seemingly mild ‘ding’ or a bump on the head can cause serious injury and in some cases death. Signs and symptoms of concussion include headache, nausea, fatigue, confusion or memory problems, sleep disturbances or mood changes; symptoms are typically noticed right after the injury, but some might not be recognized until days or weeks later.

Fall accidents are the number one cause of traumatic brain injury, resulting in four times more injuries than sports, and sends more people to the emergency room than anything else. Fall injuries are also the largest contributing factor to deaths in the elderly, but we are desensitized to the dangers of these accidents. Slip, Trip, and Fall expert, author Thom Disch explains our optimism bias on fall injuries, “We have a false sense of security because in our own personal histories we have survived many falls without serious consequences. Our challenge is that it’s nearly impossible to predict which falls will cause injuries and which ones will just be embarrassing. Our mission must be early prevention.”

Author Thom Disch ALERTS Readers Of Fall Prevention 

In Disch’s book, Stop the Slip he developed The ALERT System to help reduce fall injuries and deaths. The acronym provides a step by step guide for early prevention.

Awareness is the first and most important step in preventing slip, trip, and fall injuries. You should be on alert when you’re in higher-risk situations. Create a mental warning system for potential dangers.

Learn what you can do to prevent a fall accident. Most fall injuries happen in the places we know the best: our bathroom, our kitchen, our stairs, etc. This happens because we’re in our comfort zone, our guard is down, and we’re not paying attention.

(Start)Early. We know that everyone is at risk. Fall injuries cause a high percentage of emergency room visits at all ages. We also know that the elderly are at a greater risk for more severe slip and fall injuries and death. Learning how to avoid a fall when you are younger will reduce fall injuries when you are older.

React to what you’ve learned. If you see a slip and fall hazard, correct that it. Do it right when you encounter the risk or problem. Don’t count on your memory or your ability to react to a slip and fall problem in the moment.

Train your body and improve your balance. Train your mind to be aware of slip, trip, and fall situations. Train your family. Train your friends. Train your co-workers.

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