Patients older than 18 years of age who suffered falls from ladders over a five and a half year period were identified for a study. Of 27,155 trauma patients, 340 (1.3%) had suffered falls from ladders. The average age was 55 years, with a male predominance of 89.3%. Average fall height was 9.8 ft. Increasing age was associated with a decrease in the mean fall height, an increase in the mean Injury Severity Score, and higher likelihood of hospital admission.

Patients older than 66 were more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries and truncal injuries and less likely to sustain hand and/or forearm fractures.

Older people are particularly vulnerable after falling from ladders. Although they fell from lower heights, the elderly sustained different and more severe injury patterns. Ladder safety education should be particularly tailored at the elderly.

Source: Journal of Surgical Research