Falls from flat-roofed houses: a surgical experience of 1643 patients

Injury. 2004 Apr;35(4):425-8. doi: 10.1016/S0020-1383(03)00198-0.


Purpose: High falls from flat-roofed houses are a common cause of death and disability in the south-east part of Turkey; the aim of this study was to describe our experience of such falls seen over a 4-year period in Diyarbakir.

Methods: One thousand six hundred and forty-three patients (570 females and 1073 males) who sustained injuries after an accidental fall from a flat-roofed house were entered into the study.

Results: The mean age was 18 (1-95) years; 49.4% of patients were under 10 years old; 81.5% were under 30 years old. The mean fall height was 4.5m (1-20 m). The mortality rate was 5.8% (96 patients). The mean fall height in children under the age of 15 years who died from the fall was 4m (67 patients) and in patients over the age of 15 years, 9m (29 patients). The most common injuries were to the head (45.1%) and 93.75% of those (n = 90) who died had a head injury. One hundred patients (6%) were followed because of abdominal bleeding: one of these had fallen from 2m, the reminder from 4 to 9 m; 12 were operated on and 88 treated conservatively.

Conclusion: Craniocerebral trauma is the most common injury in fatal falls from flat roofs and blunt abdominal trauma is an uncommon injury after falling from less than 4m.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / etiology
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / surgery