228156 Differential characteristics of same level fall injuries in a statewide trauma registry

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Tracy Young, MS , Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
James Torner, PhD, MS , Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Kirk E. Schmitt, MS, NREMT-P , Bureau of EMS, Iowa Department of Public Health, Des Moines, IA
Corinne Peek-Asa, PhD, MPH , Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Background: Fall-related injuries are a leading cause of non-fatal injury in Iowa with increasing occurrence, particularly with the aging population. Falls from the same level are also increasing in occurrence, particularly in females. Statewide trauma data was used in our analysis to examine the trends and variation in characteristics of same level falls by age and gender.

Methods: The study population consisted of Iowa Trauma Registry patients from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2006 that sustained a same level fall-related injury (n=6,235 patients). We examined demographic, injury event, injury type, severity, and outcome characteristics by age and gender.

Results: Same level falls have increased by 47% from 2002 to 2006. In our examination of same level fall mechanisms, males < age 5 and age 25 and older were more likely to fall from slipping/tripping while those aged 5-24 were more likely to fall from sports/recreation activities (e.g., colliding/pushing, skate boarding; p<0.0001). Females across age groups were most likely to fall from same levels due to slipping/tripping (p<0.0001) followed by those aged 5-14 years where sports/recreation activities (e.g., roller skating, colliding/pushing) were also prominent. Males had more severe injuries across age groups, particularly from slipping/tripping (p<0.0001).

Conclusions: Same level fall injuries differed by age and gender in the mechanism, primary injury type, and injury severity. The activity and/or velocity of same level falls coincide with injury severity. Different recommendations for prevention strategies need to focus more on specific risk factors.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the importance of fall-related injuries in Iowa. 2. Describe the trends in same level falls overall and by gender. 3. Describe the variation in characteristics of same level falls by age and gender.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am an Injury Epidemiologist at the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center and have worked with our State's injury data and health department for the past 12 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.