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Am J Prev Med. 2007 May;32(5):413-8.

Ladder-related injuries treated in emergency departments in the United States, 1990-2005.

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Center for Injury Research and Policy, Columbus Children's Research Institute, Columbus Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA.



Ladder use is involved in many occupational and non-occupational activities. Falls from ladders can result in serious injury and affect people of all ages. The purpose of this study was to comprehensively examine nonfatal ladder-related injuries on a national level.


Using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database, cases of nonfatal ladder-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments (EDs) from 1990 through 2005 were selected using NEISS ladder product codes. Analysis was conducted from June 2006 to August 2006.


An estimated 2,177,888 (95% confidence interval [CI]=1,885,311-2,470,466) individuals ranging in age from 1 month to 101 years were treated in U.S. EDs for ladder-related injuries during the 16-year study period, yielding an average of 136,118 cases annually, an average of 49.5 per 100,000 people. Males predominated in ladder-related injuries (76.5%, 95% CI=75.8-77.2). Fractures were the most common type of injury (31.5%, 95% CI=30.5-32.6). The body parts most frequently injured were the legs and feet (30.4%, 95% CI=29.5-31.2). Nearly 10% of injuries resulted in hospitalization (8.5%, 95% CI=7.4-9.6) or transfer to another hospital (1.4%, 95% CI=1.1-1.8), approximately twice that of consumer product-related injuries overall. The number of ladder-related injuries increased by more than 50% from 1990 to 2005. Ladder-related injuries per 100,000 people rose almost 27% during the 16-year study period. Of the cases for which locale of injury was recorded, 97.3% occurred in non-occupational settings, such as homes and farms.


Given the 50% increase in ladder-related injuries during the study period, the relatively high likelihood of hospital admission, and the predominance of injuries in non-occupational settings, increased efforts are needed to prevent ladder-related injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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