With an increasing life expectancy and more active elderly
population, management of geriatric trauma
patients continues to evolve. The aim was to describe the mechanism and injuries of severely injured geriatric
patients and to identify risk factors associated with mortality
Registry at a Canadian Level I trauma
center was queried for all trauma
patients older than 65 years and injury severity score >15 from 2004 to 2006, resulting in a retrospective chart review of 276 patients. The data were subsequently analyzed using univariate and multivariate analysis.
Average age was 81.5 years (mean injury severity score of 25). Most common comorbid illness was hypertension (57.3%) and most frequent mechanism of injury was falls (72.3%). The overall mortality
was comparable with the US National Trauma
Data Bank (26.8% vs. 32.0%, confidence interval, 0.00–0.10). Geriatric
patients requiring intubation, blood transfusions, or suffering from head, C-spine, or chest trauma
had an increased likelihood of death. In-hospital respiratory, gastrointestinal, or infectious complications also had higher likelihood of death.
Falls continue to be the most frequent mechanism of injury in severely injured geriatric
patients. Risk factors associated with a higher likelihood of death are identified. More research is needed to better understand this important and increasing group of trauma