Falls from Great Heights: Risk to Sustain Severe Thoracic and Pelvic Injuries Increases with Height of the Fall

  • Falls from a height are a common cause of polytrauma care in Level I Trauma Centers worldwide. The expected injury consequences depend on the height of the fall and the associated acceleration, as well as the condition of the ground. In addition, we further hypothesize a correlation between the cause of the fall, the age of the patient, and the patient’s outcome. A total of 178 trauma patients without age restriction who were treated in our hospital after a fall >3 m within a 5-year period were retrospectively analyzed. The primary objective was a clinically and radiologically quantifiable increase in the severity of injuries after falls from different relevant heights (>3 m, >6 m, and >9 m). The cause of the fall, either accidental or suicidal; age and duration of intensive care unit stay, including duration of ventilation; and total hospital stay were analyzed. Additionally, the frequency of urgent operations, such as, external fixation of fractures or hemi-craniectomies, laboratory parameters; and clinical outcomes were also among the secondary objectives. Sustaining a thoracic trauma or pelvis fractures increases significantly with height, and vital parameters are significantly compromised. We also found significant differences in urgent pre- and in-hospital emergency interventions, as well as organ complications and outcome parameters depending on the fall’s height.

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Author:Christoph NauGND, Maximilian LeibleinORCiDGND, René VerboketORCiDGND, Jason-Alexander HöraufORCiDGND, Ramona SturmGND, Ingo MarziORCiDGND, Philipp StörmannORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Journal of Clinical Medicine
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/05/25
Date of first Publication:2021/05/25
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/08/11
Tag:fall; great height; injury pattern; pelvic trauma; spine injury
Issue:11, art. 2307
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0