Injuries from falls in the pediatric population: An analysis of 729 cases

Michael Y. Wang, K. Anthony Kim, Pamela M. Griffith, Susan Summers, J. Gordon McComb, Michael L. Levy, G. Hossein Mahour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background/Purpose: Falls are classified as low or high level for triage purposes. Because triage criteria dictate less urgency for low-level falls, this classification scheme has important implications for pediatric emergency care. Methods: Retrospective analysis was conducted of 729 (393 low-level and 336 high-level) pediatric patients treated for fall-related trauma (1992 through 1998). Falls were classified as low (<15 feet) or high-level (≥15 feet). All falls were reported as accidental or unintentional. Results: The overall mortality rate was 1.6% (2.4% for high-level falls compared with 1.0% for low-level falls). All 4 patients who died of a low-level fall had an abnormal head computed tomography (CT) scan and intracranial hypertension. Half of deaths from high-level falls were attributable to intracranial injuries, and half were caused by severe extracranial injuries. Common extracranial injuries were upper extremity fracture (6.2%), lower extremity fracture (5.6%), pulmonary contusion (1.8%), pneumothorax (1.1%), liver laceration (1.1%), bowel injury (1.0%), and splenic injury (2.1%). Orthopedic and thoracic injuries resulted more commonly from high-level falls, whereas abdominal injuries were as likely to occur after a low-level fall. Conclusions: Intracranial injury accounts for the majority of deaths from falls. Children suffering low-level falls were at similar risk for intracranial and abdominal injuries compared with those who fell from greater heights. Pediatric trauma triage criteria should account for these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1528-1534
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Volume36
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pediatrics
Wounds and Injuries
Population
Triage
Abdominal Injuries
Thoracic Injuries
Intracranial Hypertension
Contusions
Lacerations
Emergency Medical Services
Pneumothorax
Upper Extremity
Orthopedics
Lower Extremity
Head
Tomography
Lung
Mortality
Liver

Keywords

  • Abdominal injury
  • Fall
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Head injury
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Wang, M. Y., Kim, K. A., Griffith, P. M., Summers, S., McComb, J. G., Levy, M. L., & Mahour, G. H. (2001). Injuries from falls in the pediatric population: An analysis of 729 cases. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 36(10), 1528-1534. https://doi.org/10.1053/jpsu.2001.27037

Injuries from falls in the pediatric population : An analysis of 729 cases. / Wang, Michael Y.; Kim, K. Anthony; Griffith, Pamela M.; Summers, Susan; McComb, J. Gordon; Levy, Michael L.; Mahour, G. Hossein.

In: Journal of Pediatric Surgery, Vol. 36, No. 10, 16.10.2001, p. 1528-1534.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wang, MY, Kim, KA, Griffith, PM, Summers, S, McComb, JG, Levy, ML & Mahour, GH 2001, 'Injuries from falls in the pediatric population: An analysis of 729 cases', Journal of Pediatric Surgery, vol. 36, no. 10, pp. 1528-1534. https://doi.org/10.1053/jpsu.2001.27037
Wang MY, Kim KA, Griffith PM, Summers S, McComb JG, Levy ML et al. Injuries from falls in the pediatric population: An analysis of 729 cases. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2001 Oct 16;36(10):1528-1534. https://doi.org/10.1053/jpsu.2001.27037
Wang, Michael Y. ; Kim, K. Anthony ; Griffith, Pamela M. ; Summers, Susan ; McComb, J. Gordon ; Levy, Michael L. ; Mahour, G. Hossein. / Injuries from falls in the pediatric population : An analysis of 729 cases. In: Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2001 ; Vol. 36, No. 10. pp. 1528-1534.
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