Falls from ladders: Age matters more than height

Jorge Con, Randall S. Friese, Dustin M. Long, Bardiya Zangbar, Terence OKeeffe, Bellal Joseph, Peter Rhee, Andrew L. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Falls from ladders account for a significant number of hospital visits. However, the epidemiology, injury pattern, and how age affects such falls are poorly described in the literature.

Materials and methods: Patients ≥18 y who suffered falls from ladders over a 5-y period were identified in our trauma registry. Dividing patients into three age groups (18-45, 46-65, and >66 y), we compared demographic characteristics, clinical data, and outcomes including injury pattern and mortality. The odds ratios (ORs) were calculated with the group 18-45 y as reference; group means were compared with one-way analysis of variance.

Results: Of 27,155 trauma patients, 340 (1.3%) had suffered falls from ladders. The average age was 55 y, with a male predominance of 89.3%. Average fall height was 9.8 ft, and mean Injury Severity Score was 10.6. Increasing age was associated with a decrease in the mean fall height (P < 0.001), an increase in the mean Injury Severity Score (P < 0.05), and higher likelihood of admission (>66 y: OR, 5.3; confidence interval [CI], 2.5-11.5). In univariate analysis, patients in the >66-y age group were more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries (OR, 3.4; CI, 1.5-7.8) and truncal injuries (OR, 3.6; CI, 1.9-7.0) and less likely to sustain hand and/or forearm fractures (OR, 0.3; CI, 0.1-0.9).

Conclusions: Older people are particularly vulnerable after falling from ladders. Although they fell from lower heights, the elderly sustained different and more severe injury patterns. Ladder safety education should be particularly tailored at the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume191
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Odds Ratio
Wounds and Injuries
Confidence Intervals
Age Groups
Injury Severity Score
Forearm
Registries
Analysis of Variance
Epidemiology
Hand
Demography
Safety
Education
Mortality

Keywords

  • Extremity fractures
  • Fall from ladder
  • Geriatric trauma
  • Head injuries
  • Truncal injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Con, J., Friese, R. S., Long, D. M., Zangbar, B., OKeeffe, T., Joseph, B., ... Tang, A. L. (2014). Falls from ladders: Age matters more than height. Journal of Surgical Research, 191(2), 262-267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2014.05.072

Falls from ladders : Age matters more than height. / Con, Jorge; Friese, Randall S.; Long, Dustin M.; Zangbar, Bardiya; OKeeffe, Terence; Joseph, Bellal; Rhee, Peter; Tang, Andrew L.

In: Journal of Surgical Research, Vol. 191, No. 2, 01.10.2014, p. 262-267.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Con, J, Friese, RS, Long, DM, Zangbar, B, OKeeffe, T, Joseph, B, Rhee, P & Tang, AL 2014, 'Falls from ladders: Age matters more than height', Journal of Surgical Research, vol. 191, no. 2, pp. 262-267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2014.05.072
Con, Jorge ; Friese, Randall S. ; Long, Dustin M. ; Zangbar, Bardiya ; OKeeffe, Terence ; Joseph, Bellal ; Rhee, Peter ; Tang, Andrew L. / Falls from ladders : Age matters more than height. In: Journal of Surgical Research. 2014 ; Vol. 191, No. 2. pp. 262-267.
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abstract = "Background: Falls from ladders account for a significant number of hospital visits. However, the epidemiology, injury pattern, and how age affects such falls are poorly described in the literature.Materials and methods: Patients ≥18 y who suffered falls from ladders over a 5-y period were identified in our trauma registry. Dividing patients into three age groups (18-45, 46-65, and >66 y), we compared demographic characteristics, clinical data, and outcomes including injury pattern and mortality. The odds ratios (ORs) were calculated with the group 18-45 y as reference; group means were compared with one-way analysis of variance.Results: Of 27,155 trauma patients, 340 (1.3{\%}) had suffered falls from ladders. The average age was 55 y, with a male predominance of 89.3{\%}. Average fall height was 9.8 ft, and mean Injury Severity Score was 10.6. Increasing age was associated with a decrease in the mean fall height (P < 0.001), an increase in the mean Injury Severity Score (P < 0.05), and higher likelihood of admission (>66 y: OR, 5.3; confidence interval [CI], 2.5-11.5). In univariate analysis, patients in the >66-y age group were more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries (OR, 3.4; CI, 1.5-7.8) and truncal injuries (OR, 3.6; CI, 1.9-7.0) and less likely to sustain hand and/or forearm fractures (OR, 0.3; CI, 0.1-0.9).Conclusions: Older people are particularly vulnerable after falling from ladders. Although they fell from lower heights, the elderly sustained different and more severe injury patterns. Ladder safety education should be particularly tailored at the elderly.",
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AU - Con, Jorge

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AU - Long, Dustin M.

AU - Zangbar, Bardiya

AU - OKeeffe, Terence

AU - Joseph, Bellal

AU - Rhee, Peter

AU - Tang, Andrew L.

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AB - Background: Falls from ladders account for a significant number of hospital visits. However, the epidemiology, injury pattern, and how age affects such falls are poorly described in the literature.Materials and methods: Patients ≥18 y who suffered falls from ladders over a 5-y period were identified in our trauma registry. Dividing patients into three age groups (18-45, 46-65, and >66 y), we compared demographic characteristics, clinical data, and outcomes including injury pattern and mortality. The odds ratios (ORs) were calculated with the group 18-45 y as reference; group means were compared with one-way analysis of variance.Results: Of 27,155 trauma patients, 340 (1.3%) had suffered falls from ladders. The average age was 55 y, with a male predominance of 89.3%. Average fall height was 9.8 ft, and mean Injury Severity Score was 10.6. Increasing age was associated with a decrease in the mean fall height (P < 0.001), an increase in the mean Injury Severity Score (P < 0.05), and higher likelihood of admission (>66 y: OR, 5.3; confidence interval [CI], 2.5-11.5). In univariate analysis, patients in the >66-y age group were more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries (OR, 3.4; CI, 1.5-7.8) and truncal injuries (OR, 3.6; CI, 1.9-7.0) and less likely to sustain hand and/or forearm fractures (OR, 0.3; CI, 0.1-0.9).Conclusions: Older people are particularly vulnerable after falling from ladders. Although they fell from lower heights, the elderly sustained different and more severe injury patterns. Ladder safety education should be particularly tailored at the elderly.

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KW - Fall from ladder

KW - Geriatric trauma

KW - Head injuries

KW - Truncal injuries

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