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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Mar;58(3):442-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.02728.x. Epub 2010 Feb 16.

Characteristics and outcomes of injured older adults after hospital admission.

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Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland, Australia.



To describe the seriously injured adult population aged 65 and older; compare the differences in injury characteristics and outcomes in three subgroups aged 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 and older; and identify predictors of death, complications, and hospital discharge destination.


Retrospective secondary analysis of data from the Queensland Trauma Registry (QTR) using all patients aged 65 and older admitted from 2003 through 2006.


Data from 15 regional and tertiary hospitals throughout Queensland, Australia.


Six thousand sixty-nine patients: 2,291 (37.7%) aged 65 to 74, 2,265 (37.3%) aged 75 to 84, and 1,513 (24.9%) aged 85 and older.


Outcome variables included mortality, complications, and discharge destination (usual residence, rehabilitation, nursing home, convalescence). Predictive factors incorporated demographic details, injury characteristics, and acute care factors.


Hospital survival was 95.0%, with a median length of hospital stay of 8 days (interquartile range 5-15), and 33.8% of cases with a major injury developed a complication. Predictors of death included older age, male sex, admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), greater Injury Severity Score (ISS), injury caused by a fall, and two or more injuries; those who had surgery were less likely to die. Predictors of complications included ICU admission, older age, longer hospital stay, and two or more injuries. Predictors of discharge to a nursing home included older age, greater ISS, longer hospital stay, and injury caused by a fall, among others.


Older adults with severe injuries are at risk of poor outcomes. These findings suggest opportunities for improving geriatric trauma care that could lead to better outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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