Trends in Geriatric Ground-Level Falls: Report from the National Trauma Data Bank

Muhammad Khurrum, Mohamad Chehab, Michael Ditillo, Joseph Richards, Molly Douglas, Letitia Bible, Lloyd Spece, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Ground-level falls (GLF) are typically reported as a minor mechanism of injury; however, they represent a significant portion of hospitalized geriatric trauma patients as they can result in multisystem injury in this subset of the population. Our study aimed to analyze trends in geriatric trauma falls on the national level. Methods: We performed a 5-y (2011-2015) analysis of the American College of Surgeons National Trauma Data Bank (ACS-NTDB) and included all geriatric trauma patients (age ≥ 65 y) who presented with GLF. GLF was identified using ICD-9 E CODES. Our outcome measures were national incidence of GLF, and overall discharge disposition and trauma center level discharge disposition following GLF. We used Cochran Armitage test and multivariate regression analysis. Results: We analyzed a total of 1,017,326 geriatric trauma patients, of which 39% had had a fall as a mechanism of injury. Among those who fell, mean age was 78 ± 7, 63% were females, and 85% were whites. The incidence of falls significantly increased over the study period, and was noted to be proportional to age, with a plateau beyond age 85 y old. The rate of discharge to SNF and/or Rehab significantly increased over the study period; however, discharge to home and mortality rates trended downwards over the study period. Discharge to SNF and/or Rehab was significantly lower among level I trauma centers compared to other level trauma centers. Conversely, discharge to home was higher in level I trauma centers compared to other level trauma centers. Conclusion: Around one in three elderly trauma patients were admitted following a GLF with an overall increased incidence of falls over time. Although overall mortality rates decreased, there was an increase in adverse discharge disposition and loss of functional independence over the study period, mostly among those admitted to non-level I trauma centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume266
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Discharge Disposition
  • Ground Level Fall
  • National Trauma Data Bank
  • Trauma Center
  • Trend

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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