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What are the differences in injury patterns of young and elderly traffic accident fatalities considering death on scene and death in hospital?


Heinrich, Daniela; Holzmann, Christopher; Wagner, Anja; Fischer, Anja; Pfeifer, Roman; Graw, Matthias; Schick, Sylvia (2017). What are the differences in injury patterns of young and elderly traffic accident fatalities considering death on scene and death in hospital? International journal of legal medicine, 131(4):1023-1037.

Abstract

Older traffic participants have higher risks of injury than the population up to 65 years in case of comparable road traffic accidents and further, higher mortality rates at comparable injury severities. Rib fractures as risk factors are currently discussed. However, death on scene is associated with hardly survivable injuries and might not be a matter of neither rib fractures nor age. As 60% of traffic accident fatalities are estimated to die on scene, they are not captured in hospital-based trauma registries and injury patterns remain unknown. Our database comprises 309 road traffic fatalities, autopsied at the Institute of Legal Medicine Munich in 2004 and 2005. Injuries are coded according to Abbreviated Injury Scale, AIS© 2005 update 2008 [1]. Data used for this analysis are age, sex, site of death, site of accident, traffic participation mode, measures of injury severity, and rib fractures. The injury patterns of elderly, aged 65+ years, are compared to the younger ones divided by their site of death. Elderly with death on scene more often show serious thorax injuries and pelvic fractures than the younger. Some hints point towards older fatalities showing less frequently serious abdominal injuries. In hospital, elderly fatalities show lower Injury Severity Scores (ISSs) compared to the younger. The number of rib fractures is significantly higher for the elderly but is not the reason for death. Results show that young and old fatalities have different injury patterns and reveal first hints towards the need to analyze death on scene more in-depth.

Abstract

Older traffic participants have higher risks of injury than the population up to 65 years in case of comparable road traffic accidents and further, higher mortality rates at comparable injury severities. Rib fractures as risk factors are currently discussed. However, death on scene is associated with hardly survivable injuries and might not be a matter of neither rib fractures nor age. As 60% of traffic accident fatalities are estimated to die on scene, they are not captured in hospital-based trauma registries and injury patterns remain unknown. Our database comprises 309 road traffic fatalities, autopsied at the Institute of Legal Medicine Munich in 2004 and 2005. Injuries are coded according to Abbreviated Injury Scale, AIS© 2005 update 2008 [1]. Data used for this analysis are age, sex, site of death, site of accident, traffic participation mode, measures of injury severity, and rib fractures. The injury patterns of elderly, aged 65+ years, are compared to the younger ones divided by their site of death. Elderly with death on scene more often show serious thorax injuries and pelvic fractures than the younger. Some hints point towards older fatalities showing less frequently serious abdominal injuries. In hospital, elderly fatalities show lower Injury Severity Scores (ISSs) compared to the younger. The number of rib fractures is significantly higher for the elderly but is not the reason for death. Results show that young and old fatalities have different injury patterns and reveal first hints towards the need to analyze death on scene more in-depth.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Department of Trauma Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Abbreviated Injury Scale; Elderly; Injury pattern; Prehospital mortality; Rib fracture; Traffic fatalities
Language:English
Date:July 2017
Deposited On:18 Oct 2017 13:57
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 08:55
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0937-9827
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-017-1531-8
PubMed ID:28180986

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