Pediatric falls: Is height a predictor of injury and outcome?

J. A. Murray, D. Chen, G. C. Velmahos, K. Alo, H. Belzberg, J. A. Asensio, D. Demetriades, T. V. Berne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Falls account for a significant proportion of pediatric injuries and deaths. A retrospective review of pediatric patients (age 0-14 years) was performed to determine whether patterns of injuries and outcomes could be predicted on the basis of the height of the fall. In addition we evaluated the triage criterion 'fall greater than 15 feet' for transport of patients to a trauma center. Patients were stratified by the height of the fall: greater than or less than 15 feet. The end points for analysis were the associated injuries and survival. Patients who fell less than 15 feet had a higher incidence of intracranial injuries (and fewer extremity fractures than patients who fell more than 15 feet). Skull fractures were the most frequent injury and were associated with an increase in intracranial injuries in both subgroups. In conclusion low-level falls are associated with significant intracranial injuries. The evaluation of patients sustaining low-level falls should not be limited on the basis of the height of the fall. Using falls of greater than 15 feet as a triage criterion for transport to a trauma center needs to be prospectively evaluated to ensure that critically injured patients are triaged appropriately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-865
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 13 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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