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J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2019 Jul-Sep;12(3):198-202. doi: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_79_18.

Injury Patterns and Outcomes of Trauma in the Geriatric Population Presenting to the Emergency Department in a Tertiary Care Hospital of South India.

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
General Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.



The geriatric population is more prone for injuries with complications due to their associated comorbidities. This study was done to understand the mode, severity, and outcome of injuries among geriatric patients presenting to the emergency department (ED).

Materials and Methods:

This retrospective study included all patients >60 years who presented with trauma between October 2014 and March 2015. Details of the incident, injuries, and hospital outcome were noted.


Among 8563 geriatric patients, who presented to the ED during the study, 427 (4.9%) patients were trauma related. The mean age was 69 (standard deviation: 6.76) years with 87.6% being young-old (60-79 years) and 12.4% being old-old (>80 years). Majority (63.2%) were Priority 2 patients. The median time between the incident and ED arrival among Priority 1 patients was 3 h (interquartile range: 2-5). Common modes of injuries were slip and fall (37.4%), two-wheeler accidents (25.8%), fall from height (9.1%), and pedestrian (8.9%). The ED team alone managed 25.8% of patients. Specialty departments referred to included orthopedics (48%), neurosurgery (18.3%), plastic surgery (4.2%), HLRS (4%), and others. Injuries due to slip and fall were significantly more among the old-old (P = 0.001), and two-wheeler accidents were more among the young-old (P = 0.001), respectively. Superficial head injuries (28.8%), extremity (24.8%), facial (18.7%), and traumatic brain injuries (17.8%) were common presentations. Thoracic injuries were significantly more among the old-old (P < 0.001). Half (46.3%) of the young-old were discharged stable (P = 0.017). In-hospital mortality rate was 0.7% (3/427), while 12.9% (55/427) left against medical advice due to poor prognosis.


Our study demonstrates the pattern of injury seen in the elderly in an urban setting in India. From this, we perceive the need for a prospective study evaluating the causes for geriatric trauma, which would help work on ways to prevent and minimize injuries in the elderly.


Accidents; emergency department; geriatric; injury patterns; trauma

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