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Woo Yun Kim 1 Article
Are Falls of Less Than 6 Meters Safe?
Young Woo Seo, Jung Seok Hong, Woo Yun Kim, Ryeok Ahn, Eun Seok Hong
J Korean Soc Traumatol. 2006;19(1):54-58.
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AbstractAbstract PDF
PURPOSE
The committee on trauma of the american college of surgeons, in its manual resources for optimal care of the injured patients involved in falls from less than 20 feet need not be taken to trauma centers. Because triage criteria dictate less urgency for low-level falls, this classification scheme has demerits for early detection and treatment of serious problems in the emergency room.
METHODS
A prospective analysis was conducted of 182 patients treated for fall-related trauma from June 2003 to March 2004. Falls were classified as group A (<3 m), group B (> or =3 m, <6 m), and group C (> or =6 m). Collected data included the patient's age, gender, site and height of fall, surface fallen upon, body area of first impact, body regions of injuries, Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), Revised Trauma Score (RTS), and Injury Severity Score (ISS).
RESULTS
The 182 patients were classified as group A (105) 57.7%, group B (61) 33.5%, and group C (16) 8.8%. There was a weak positive correlation between the height of fall and the patients'ISS in the three groups (p<0.001). There were significant differences in GCS (p=0.017), RTS (p=0.034), and ISS (p=0.007) between group A and B. In cases that the head was the initial impact area of the body, the GCS (p<0.001) and the RTS (p=0.002) were lower, but the ISS (p<0.001) was higher than it was for other type of injuries. Hard surfaces as an impact surface type, had an influence on the GCS (p<0.001) and the ISS (p=0.025).
CONCLUSION
To simply categorize patients who fall over 6 meters as severely injured patients doesn't have much meaning, and though patients may have fallen less than 6 meters, they should be categorized by using the dynamics (impact surface type, initial body-impact area) of their fall.
Summary

J Trauma Inj : Journal of Trauma and Injury