Fall from standing height, or greater, and mortality among ambulance-transported patients with major trauma from falls


emergency medical services

How to Cite

Buzzacott P, Tohira H, Bailey P, Arendts G, Ball S, Brown E, Finn J. Fall from standing height, or greater, and mortality among ambulance-transported patients with major trauma from falls . Australasian Journal of Paramedicine [Internet]. 2021Sep.8 [cited 2021Sep.28];18. Available from: https://ajp.paramedics.org/index.php/ajp/article/view/904



This study describes the relationship between falls from standing height, or greater, and mortality in ambulance-transported patients with major trauma from falls.


Road ambulance records from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016 were linked with WA State Trauma Registry records to identify ambulance-transported falls patients with major trauma.


Of the patients who fell from standing level, 114/460 (25%) died within 30 days, compared with 47/222 (21%) who fell from height (p=0.64).


Mortality is relatively high, and fall height is not associated with 30-day survival, among ambulance-transported patients with major trauma in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia.



Fatovich DM, Jacobs IG, Langford SA, Phillips M. The effect of age, severity, and mechanism of injury on risk of death from major trauma in Western Australia. J Trauma Acute Care Surg 2013;74:647-51. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Fulltext/2013/02000/The_effect_of_age,_severity,_and_mechanism_of.44.aspx

Australian Bureau of Statistics. 3101.0 National, state and territory population Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Commonwealth of Australia.; 2021 Available at: www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/national-state-and-territory-population/dec-2020

Sweeney R, Meade R, Visser M. 2020 Western Australian falls report. Western Australia Department of Health. Perth, WA: Injury Matters; 2020. Available at: www.injurymatters.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/200701_IM_FallsReport2020-DIGITAL.pdf

Brown E, Williams TA, Tohira H, Bailey P, Finn J. Epidemiology of trauma patients attended by ambulance paramedics in Perth, Western Australia. Emerg Med Australas 2018;30:827-33. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1742-6723.13148

Alizo G, Sciarretta JD, Gibson S, et al. Fall from heights: does height really matter? Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg 2018;44:411-6. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00068-017-0799-1

Hall S, Myers MA, Sadek AR, et al. Spinal fractures incurred by a fall from standing height. Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2019;177:106-13. Available at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0303846719300058

Cox S, Roggenkamp R, Bernard S, Smith K. The epidemiology of elderly falls attended by emergency medical services in Victoria, Australia. Injury 2018;49:1712-9. Available at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020138318303498?via%3Dihub

Komisar V, Robinovitch SN. The role of fall biomechanics in the cause and prevention of bone fractures in older adults. Curr Osteoporos Rep 2021 (online ahead of print). doi: 10.1007/s11914-021-00685-9

Robinovitch SN, Brumer R, Maurer J. Effect of the “squat protective response” on impact velocity during backward falls. J Biomech 2004;37:1329-37. Available at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021929003004780

Feldman F, Robinovitch SN. Reducing hip fracture risk during sideways falls: evidence in young adults of the protective effects of impact to the hands and stepping. ibid. 2007;40:2612-8. Available at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021929007000620?via%3Dihub

Court-Brown CM, Clement ND, Duckworth AD, Biant LC, McQueen MM. The changing epidemiology of fall-related fractures in adults. Injury 2017;48:819-24. Available at: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002013831730092X?via%3Dihub

Peterson AB, Kegler SR. Deaths from fall-related traumatic brain injury - United States, 2008-2017. MMWR Surveill Summ 2020;69:225-30. Available at: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6909a2.htm

Baker SP, O'Neill B, Haddon W Jr., Long WB. The injury severity score: a method for describing patients with multiple injuries and evaluating emergency care. J Trauma 1974;14:187-96.

Brown E, Tohira H, Bailey P, et al. Longer prehospital time was not associated with mortality in major trauma. A retrospective cohort study. Prehosp Emerg Care 2018;23:527-37. Available at: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10903127.2018.1551451

Department of Health. Trauma. Healthy WA. Health information for Western Australians: Government of Western Australia. Available at: https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/S_T/Trauma

Timsina LR, Willetts JL, Brennan MJ, et al. Circumstances of fall-related injuries by age and gender among community-dwelling adults in the United States. PLoS One 2017;12:e0176561. Available at: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0176561