Injuries and outcomes resulting due to falls in elderly patients presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary care hospital – a cohort study

Document Type



Emergency Medicine


Background: Fall injuries and trauma-related hospitalizations are the most common causes of injury and in-hospital stay amongst the elderly population. After the age of 65, the severity and frequency of fall-related problems increases; the repercussions are challenging for senior citizens, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. This study aims to determine the injuries and outcomes resulting from falls in elderly patients presenting to Emergency Department of a tertiary care hospital.
Methods: A cohort study design was used. All elderly patients aged ≥ 60 years who visit the Emergency Department with a history of a fall as a primary complaint presenting to the ED of a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan were included. A purposive sampling strategy was used to enroll 318 patients from August 2021 to February 2022. The outcome was risk of mortality. Each individual was followed for 90 days to study the outcome. A multivariable logistic regression was applied to check the association between the outcome and covariates. Crude and adjusted risk ratios were reported. A p-value ≤ 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Of the 318 participants, 265 (83.3%) were fall injury patients with comorbidities. More than half of the patients in both groups were female [32 (60.4%) & 146 (55.1%)]. Eyeglasses were used by most of the fall patients both without and with comorbidities [21 (39.6%) & 152 (57.4%) p 0.018]. There were multiple reasons for a fall including imbalance/dizziness, which was reported by one third of participants in both groups [15 (28.3%) & 77 (29.1%)] followed by a fall from stairs/steps/escalator [15 (28.3%) & 44 (16.6%) p 0.005]. At the end of one month, of those who had a comorbidity 20 (7.5%) expired. The risk of mortality among fall related injuries in elderly patients who were more than 80 years was 1.48 times (95% CI: 1.20-2.10) more likely when compared to those patients who were younger than 80 years.
Conclusion: Efforts should be made to improve management of the underlying etiology of falls to prevent them in future. The factors that contribute to falls should be identified. Strategies and interventions should be planned to mitigate this risk of fall in elderly to improve their quality of life


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Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC emergency medicine