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Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2013 Nov;19(6):529-35. doi: 10.5505/tjtes.2013.77535.

Factors affecting mortality caused by falls from height.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Dicle University Faculty of Medicine, Diyarbakır, Turkey. drmicer@mynet.com.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, Dicle University Faculty of Medicine, Diyarbakır, Turkey.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Falls from height are among the most common trauma cases presenting to emergency departments and often cause mortality and morbidity. In the present study, we aimed to determine the factors that effectively reduce mortality caused by falls from height.

METHODS:

Data from 2252 trauma patients who presented to Dicle University Emergency Service between January 2005 and December 2008 due to falling from height in the Southeastern Anatolia region were retrospectively analyzed. We analyzed the parameters that are considered to have a positive effect on mortality, which included the following: month of fall; age; gender; etiology; place of fall; type of ground on which the patient fell; height of fall; intubation; hypotension; tachycardia; neck, head, thoracal, abdominal, pelvic, and extremity injuries; Glasgow Coma Score (GCS); Injury Severity Score (ISS); and Revised Trauma Score (RTS).

RESULTS:

There were 1435 males (63.7%) and 817 females (36.3%) included in the study. Two thousand thirty-one (94.6%) patients survived the fall while 121(5.4%) died. The mean age of the surviving patients was 15.55±18.60 years, while the patients who died had a mean age of 29.59±28.93 years. The mean height of the fall of the survivors' was 3.09 meters, and the mean height of the fall for those that died was 6.61±5.73 meters (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION:

The mean fatal height of the fall in falls from height is 6.61 m. Age, attempted suicide, height of fall, type of ground on which the patient fell, place of fall, and head, thoracic, and abdominal trauma are the primary factors affecting mortality caused by falls from height.

PMID:
24347212
DOI:
10.5505/tjtes.2013.77535
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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