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Multiple blunt trauma after suicidal attempt: an analysis of 4,754 multiple severely injured patients

Abstract

Purpose

The suicidal attempt is a significant cause for multiple severe injuries in Germany. The aim of the present study was to obtain information regarding injury patterns, clinical treatment, and outcome.

Methods

We analyzed the data of 4,754 patients of the Trauma Registry of the German Trauma Society (1993–2007) with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) ≥9 after a suicidal jump from a height (SUICIDE) and after an accidental fall from a height (ACCIDENT).

Results

Comparing the data of 3,682 patients with accidental fall versus those with intentional fall/jump (n = 1,072), we found that male patients were predominant in the ACCIDENT group (84.9 vs. 52.2%). The SUICIDE group had more severe injuries (ISS: 31.8 vs. 26.4). The ACCIDENT group suffered more severe head injuries (51.1 vs. 36.6%). Mortality (21.4 vs. 14.2%), length of stay in hospital (29.5 vs. 26.5 days), and costs (€34,833 vs. €24,701) were higher in the SUICIDE group.

Conclusions

Falls from a height are a common cause of injury among severely injured patients. The resulting trauma composes a particular form of blunt trauma with severe and multiple injuries, which depends on the fact of whether the free fall from a height was caused by an accident or as a result of a suicidal attempt. Taking the injury severity into consideration, there is no difference in the prognosis of the patients.

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Topp, T., Müller, T., Kiriazidis, I. et al. Multiple blunt trauma after suicidal attempt: an analysis of 4,754 multiple severely injured patients. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg 38, 19–24 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00068-011-0114-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00068-011-0114-5

Keywords

  • Suicide
  • Multiple blunt trauma
  • Mortality
  • Injury pattern
  • Epidemiology
  • Outcome