Falls from height: orthopaedic and psychiatric evaluation

Main Article Content

Marianna Faggiani
Elena Aragno
Alessandro Aprato
Gianluca Rosso
Luigi Giulio Conforti
Giuseppe Maina
Alessandro Massè

Keywords

Trauma, falls from a height, psychiatric disorder.

Abstract

Background: Fall from a height is one of the major causes of significant trauma with high morbidity and mortality rates. Traumatological damage control is often the primary treatment both for suicide attempt survivors and for accidental fall victims, but management of the hospitalization of psychiatric patients requires more resources than other patients. Methods: Retrospective multidisciplinary study (psychiatric and orthopaedic evaluation) and analysis of psychiatric and trauma characteristics of patients fallen from height admitted to our trauma centre. We analysed patterns of patients after suicidal jumps and accidental falls to look for possible trends that may trigger projects for further improvement of care. Results: 205 patients were analysed, 137 were included: 65 suicide attempt survivors and 72 accidental fall victims. Between these two groups there are no differences about the anaesthesiologic acute management or the number of damage control procedures. However, the psychiatric patients stay longer in hospital especially in intensive care unit with prolonged intubation (p<0.001). Suicide attempt survivors are significant correlated with fractures of feet, but the orthopaedic lesions do not involve an increase of definitive interventions (p< 0.05). Conclusion: We showed that the suicide attempt survivors and accidental victims need the same acute management. The orthopedic definitive surgical procedures are similar between the two groups, but in spite of this patients with psychiatric disorder were associated with a statistically significant increase of care in intensive care unit and hospitalization. Our results allow to create a new multidisciplinary approach for these patients.

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