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, 61, 17-21

A Study of Fatal Falls From Height

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A Study of Fatal Falls From Height

Abdurrahim Türkoğlu et al. J Forensic Leg Med.

Abstract

Introduction: and Objective: Falling from a height is one of the main causes of blunt force trauma. Frequently seen in accidents or for the purpose of suicide, it can result in disability or death. The aim of this study is to investigate the characteristics of fatalities due to falling from a height.

Materials and methods: This study retrospectively examines 213 cases of fatal falls from a height that had occurred in and around Elazığ province between January 2005 and December 2016. All the victims' autopsies were performed. The cases were reviewed in terms of such variables as gender, age, the month and season in which the incident took place, the cause of the fall, the location of the fall, the height of the fall, the injury site and the cause of death.

Results: It was determined that the falls were caused by: Accident in 171 (80.3%) cases, suicide in 41 (19.2%) cases and homicide in 1 (0.5%) case. Of these cases, 144 (67.6%) were men and 69 (32.4%) were women. In our study, the youngest case was aged 9 months while the eldest was 91 years, the average age being 43.6 ± 27.4 years. It was determined that 60.6% of the cases had fallen in their homes.

Conclusion: In conclusion, it was observed that fatalities from height are mainly the result of an accident and thus preventable. Since fatalities were more common in the aged and in children, it was thought that protective measures should be implemented specifically for these groups such as appropriate planning and family education.

Keywords: Accidents; Autopsy; Falls; Height; Injuries.

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