Introduction: Falls have been identified as a leading cause of injury-related morbidity and mortality in India. However, very little is known about the context and characteristics of such falls. The aim of this study was to describe the context and characteristics of fall related injuries in patients admitted to hospital for fall injury. Methods: Medical records of patients presenting at the Emergency Department of the Nehru Hospital, Chandigarh, India between March 2008 and February 2009, were reviewed by trained investigators. All injury cases were identified and fall related injury cases were assigned an ICD 10, Chapter XX, External causes of morbidity and mortality code. A review of medical records was conducted to determine the context, nature and site of injury associated with a fall event. Results: Ten percent (7049) of hospital emergency presentations were due to injuries, and falls were the second leading cause (20%, 1407). Seventy-six percent of the fall related presentations were in males. More than one third (36%) of the fall related presentations occurred in those aged 0-14 years old. Falls from building or structures (35%, 499) were the leading cause for all ages except for those older than 60 years, where same level falls due to slipping, tripping and stumbling (40%, 57) were predominant. Half of all the falls resulted in head injury. Nearly 10% of patients presenting for fall related injury died. Conclusion: Fall related injuries are an important contributor to hospital emergency presentations, particularly falls from buildings in children, and slips and trips in older people. Given the high proportion of falls that resulted in head injury and death, there is a significant need to develop appropriate interventions to prevent such falls.
- Nature and site of fall injury