Outcomes after Falls Continue to Worsen Despite Trauma and Geriatric Care Advancements
The most common mechanism of traumatic injury is ground-level fall. The objective of this study was to understand how patients sustaining falls and their outcomes have evolved. An institutional trauma database was used to identify adult patients who suffered a fall and were admitted to a Level I trauma center during two distinct time periods: 1998 to 2003 (past) and 2008 to 2013 (current). Data on anticoagulant use and comorbidities was gathered by retrospective chart review of patients treated during 2003 and 2013. Univariable analyses and multivariable regression were used to evaluate demographics and outcomes. A total of 6116 patients were identified, with a 24 per cent increase in number of falls between groups. Current fall patients are older (70 vs 66 years, P < 0.001), more often admitted to intensive care (28 vs 12%, P < 0.001), have longer lengths of stay (5 vs 4 days, P < 0.001), are frequently discharged to skilled nursing facilities (24 vs 8%, P < 0.001), and have higher mortality (5 vs 3%, P = 0.002). The adjusted odds of mortality for patients treated during 2003 and 2013 was associated with age, gender, injury severity score, and Glasgow Coma Scale score. Current fall patients use more health care resources and have worse outcomes, despite advances in trauma and geriatric care.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Publication date: March 1, 2018
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