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European Geriatric Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 871–878 | Cite as

Radiological appearance of physical elder abuse

  • Rasime Pelin KavakEmail author
  • Meltem Özdemir
Research Paper

Key summary points

Aim

To determine the radiologic imaging characteristics of the trauma-related lesions of elderly patients determined to be abused, and to raise awareness among all types of physicians, foremost radiologists, about elder abuse.

Findings

The most striking features of our findings regarding the fractures were that almost all rib fractures were in the posterior segment and that the long bone fractures were in a distal diaphyseal location in over than half of the cases. The rates of concurrent joint dislocation, soft-tissue lesion(s) and old fracture(s) were 12%, 54.3% and 19.6%, respectively.

Message

Specific fracture features and certain accompanying findings can be identified in abused elderly patients.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the study was to determine the radiologic imaging characteristics of the trauma-related lesions of elderly patients determined to be abused, and to raise awareness among all types of physicians, foremost radiologists, about elder abuse.

Methods

Clinical records and radiological images of 92 patients with the diagnosis of elder abuse were retrospectively evaluated in terms of age, gender, the reason for admission to the hospital, the presence or absence of comorbid disease(s), bone fracture location and number, characteristics of the fracture(s), the presence or absence of soft-tissue damage or old fracture(s), and the mortality.

Results

Of the patients, 85.9% were brought to the hospital because of a fall. Upper extremity was the most common body segment subjected to trauma (37%), followed by head and neck (30.4%) and chest (30.4%). The most commonly fractured bones were costae, and they were mostly multiple and located in the posterior segment. In long bone fractures, the lesions were located in the distal end of the bone and diaphyseal segment in 56.9% and 53.8% of the cases, respectively. The rates of concurrent joint dislocation, soft-tissue lesion(s) and old fracture(s) were 12%, 54.3% and 19.6%, respectively. The mortality rate was 9.8%.

Conclusions

Specific fracture features and certain accompanying findings can be identified in abused elderly patients. We recommend that radiologists increase their skills in interpreting radiographs from potential victims of abuse, prioritise this work over more routine reporting and collaborate with clinicians in a multidisciplinary approach to the detection and secondary prevention of violence and neglect of older people.

Keywords

Elderly Abuse Trauma Fracture 

Notes

Funding

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board of University of Health Sciences, Dışkapı Yıldırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital (reference no.: 59/03 dated 4 Feb 2019) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent for publication was obtained from each patient participated in the study.

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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyDışkapı Yıldırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, University of Health SciencesAltındağ/AnkaraTurkey

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