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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 8 ( August, 2020 ) > List of Articles


An Elucidation of Pattern of Injuries in Patients with Fall from Height

Aparna Lohanathan, Chinta Annie Jyothirmayi, Abhilash P Kundavaram

Citation Information : Lohanathan A, Jyothirmayi CA, Kundavaram AP. An Elucidation of Pattern of Injuries in Patients with Fall from Height. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (8):683-687.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23520

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 14-12-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Background: Fall from height (FFH) is the second most common cause of trauma presenting to the emergency department (ED). They account for majority of the polytrauma cases. This study was done to determine the pattern of injuries sustained due to FFH and outcome. Materials and methods: This was a retrospective observational study of all patients with history of FFH presenting to the ED of a large tertiary care hospital in South India. Details of the incident, fall height, injuries, and outcome were noted and analyzed. Results: This study cohort included 861 patients with a mean age was 36.2 (SD 20.8) years. A male predominance (74%) was noted. Majority of the patients, i.e., 62%, were triaged as priority 2, depending on the hemodynamic stability. Approximately a quarter (26%) sustained injury to the lower limbs with 18% sustaining spinal cord injury (SCI). Among the patients suffering SCI (35%), patients were further categorized in the American Spinal cord Injury Association (ASIA) classification. New Injury Severity Score (NISS) was more than 8 in 47% of the total study population. Majority of the patients, i.e., 62%, were discharged stable from ED after primary care with a plan of follow-up in the outpatient department. One-third (30%) of the total patients required hospital admission and among them 20% of the patients had to undergo major surgical intervention. The rest were either discharged stable or left against medical advice (LAMA) after primary care. The in-hospital mortality rate was 1.04%. Conclusion: This study has expressed the pattern of injuries in patients with FFH. An alarmingly high number of young adults with significant lower limbs and spinal injuries were noted. We observed that with increase in fall height there was a proportional increase in SCI and decrease in lower limb injuries.

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