Assessment of Patients’ Physical Injuries and Falls in Accordance with Season in an Emergency and Trauma Centre
The aim was to assess trauma characteristics of patients with physical injuries according to seasons and fall frequency in an emergency and trauma center.
Material and Methods. The study was performed at the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kauno Klinikos Emergency and Trauma Centre. The data were collected from December 2015 through November 2016 by seasons. In total, 357 patients participated in the study. A questionnaire was composed by the authors. The study protocol was approved by the Centre of Bioethics at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (No. BEC-KS(M)-75).
Results. The mean age of patients was 55.78±1.13 years. The most prevalent trauma in an emergency trauma centre for all seasons was concussion injuries, more often in autumn (59.3%) and less in summer (47.3%). The second trauma by frequency was fractures, and more patients came to an emergency trauma centre due to fractures in spring (33.3%) and fewer in autumn (18.6%). The most frequent localization of trauma by all seasons was head trauma, more prevalent in spring and autumn (55.6% each) than in summer (25.3%). The most frequent reason for trauma in all seasons was falls (57.4 % for all seasons), more frequent in spring (64.5%) and less in summer (50.5%).
In 205 of 357 patients, the cause of trauma was a fall. Patients younger than 65 years old mostly had (71.2%) one fall per year, although half (50.6%) of patients ≥65 years experienced two falls per year, and 26.4% three or more falls. Patients in the age group ≥65 years more frequently fall indoors (59.3%) and patients <65 years most often fall outdoors (61.9%).
Conclusion. Concussion injuries and fractures with head localization were the most frequent trauma in patients at an emergency and trauma centre. Almost two thirds of trauma causes were falls in all seasons. Thus, fall prevention must be one of the priorities in community care for nurses and other health care specialists.
Correspondence to L. Spirgienė Correspondence to L. Spirgienė, Department of Nursing and Care, Faculty of Nursing, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eivenių 4, LT‑50009 Kaunas, Lithuania E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org