RA Partridge, AS Virk, RE Antosia (Brown Univ, Providence, RI; Deaconess-Waltham Hosp, Mass; Harvard Med School, Boston)
Causes and Patterns of Injury from Ladder Falls
Acad Emerg Med 5: 31-34, 1998.
Introduction: Falls from ladders are amongst frequent cases seen in the Emergency Department (ED). Upto 20% fatal falls in the workers aged more than 55 years are ladder falls. Ladder fall injuries seen in the Emergency Department of a Community Hospital have been reviewed retrospectively, to evaluate factors with a likelihood to reducing the falls.
Methods: All patients registering into the ED between January 1993 and December 1995, because of a ladder fall injury were included in the review.
Results: Fifty-nine patients with 86 injuries met the inclusion criteria. All were males and the mean height from fall being 7.2 feet. Only 8 patients required admission, of which one died of a subdural haematoma.
Injuries sustained :
Fractures – 36% pts.
Sprains – 27% pts.
Contusions – 24% pts.
Commonest causes for fall were in correct ladder placement and no one to hold the ladder at the time of the fall.
These injuries could have been prevented by education on the safe use of ladders.