Title

Pattern of fall injuries in Pakistan: the Pakistan National Emergency Department Surveillance (Pak-NEDS) study.

Document Type

Article

Department

Emergency Medicine

Abstract

Background

We aimed to analyse the frequency and patterns of fall-related injuries presenting to the emergency departments (EDs) across Pakistan.

Methods

Pakistan National Emergency Departments surveillance system collected data from November 2010 to March 2011 on a 24/7 basis using a standardized tool in seven major EDs (five public and two private hospitals) in six major cities of Pakistan. For all patients presenting with fall-related injuries, we analysed data by intent with focus on unintentional falls. Simple frequencies were run for basic patient demographics, mechanism of falls, outcomes of fall injuries, mode of arrival to ED, investigations, and procedures with outcomes.

Results

There were 3335 fall-related injuries. In cases where intent was available, two-thirds (n = 1186, 65.3%) of fall injuries were unintentional. Among unintentional fall patients presenting to EDs, the majority (76.9%) were males and between 15-44 years of age (69%). The majority of the unintentional falls (n = 671, 56.6%) were due to slipping, followed by fall from height (n = 338, 28.5%). About two-thirds (n = 675, 66.6%) of fall injuries involved extremities, followed by head/neck (n = 257, 25.4%) and face (n = 99, 9.8%). Most of the patients were discharged from the hospital (n = 1059, 89.3%). There were 17 (1.3%) deaths among unintentional fall cases.

Conclusion

Falls are an important cause of injury-related visits to EDs in Pakistan. Most of the fall injury patients were men and in a productive age group. Fall injuries pose a burden on the healthcare system, especially emergency services, and future studies should therefore focus on safety measures at home and in workplaces to reduce this burden.

Publication

BMC Emergency Medicine