The Pattern of Injury and Workload Associated with Managing Patients After Suicide Attempt by Jumping from a Height

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 31 Aug 2015 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874325001509010395


Purpose :

The aim of this study is to examine the pattern of injuries sustained and the hospital workload generated by patients who deliberately jump from height.

Method :

One regional trauma centre's admissions were scrutinized to find all patients who jumped, or were suspected of jumping from one storey or greater over a four year period. Patients who died prior to admission were excluded.

Results :

41 patients were included. Each patient suffered a mean of 3 injuries. The probability of calcaneal fracture was 0.32, of ankle injury 0.2, tibial fracture 0.2, femoral fracture 0.17, pelvic fracture 0.34, spinal injury 0.51, upper limb injury 0.26, head injury 0.2 and trunk injury 0.32. The mean length of inpatient stay was 7.9 days, rising to 17.9 for the 11 patients requiring intensive care. The average number of operations per patient was 1.5.

Conclusion :

Patients who jump from height generate large volumes of operative and inpatient workloads. Our data show that there may be a protective effect of limb trauma against lethal head, chest or pelvic injury. Injury to the upper limb is associated with a 4 times greater risk of head injury. The incidence of pelvic injury in this series is higher than in previous work. There was a high incidence of spinal fracture. Patients generated 64 surgical procedures and consumed a mean of 17.9 inpatient days, including prolonged stay in intensive care.

Keywords: Height, jump, multidisciplinary, polytrauma, suicide, trauma.
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