Severity of injuries due to accidental fall across the life span: a retrospective hospital-based study

Percept Mot Skills. 2000 Feb;90(1):62-72. doi: 10.2466/pms.2000.90.1.62.


This retrospective study investigated injuries due to accidental fall across the life span for which 19,593 patients were admitted to the Emergency Unit of the Groningen University Hospital during the period 1990 through 1997. 64% of the accidental falls were found for those in the age range between 10 years and 59 years; however, the proportion of accidental falls with regard to other causes of injuries by age group were the highest in youngsters (infants up to 9 years old) and in elderly persons (over 60 years old), 43% or more of these patients having falls with injuries. The clinically treated patients had on the average a statistically greater Injury Severity Score (7.2) than the outpatients (2.4). The highest percentages of medically treated inpatients were the patients of 60 years and over. Their mean ISS score was about the same for elderly inpatients, but the percentage of clinical treatment increased with age as well as the mortality. 30% of the injuries were found in the lower extremities and 30% in the upper extremities. Bone fracture was statistically significantly the major (36%) injury followed by contusion (20%). 34% of the accidental falls occurred at home, and statistically significantly more females, 50 years of age and older, were injured than males.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Hospitals, University / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trauma Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Wounds and Injuries / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality