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Medicina Intensiva

versão impressa ISSN 0210-5691


PEREZ-SUAREZ, E. et al. Falls from heights in Pediatrics: Epidemiology and evolution of 54 patients. Med. Intensiva [online]. 2012, vol.36, n.2, pp.89-94. ISSN 0210-5691.

Objective: Falls from heights are a major preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in children. The aims of this study are to describe the evolution and long-term prognosis of such patients, to identify the pediatric population at greatest risk of falling from heights in our setting, and to define the variables at admission capable of predicting mortality. Design: A retrospective patient cohort review was carried out. Setting: Pediatric patients. Population: Pediatric patients admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit following a fall from a height of over two meters, in the last 10 years. Results: Ninety-two percent of the patients fell from buildings. Out of a total of 54 patients suffering falls, 51% were preschoolers. Fifty percent of the adolescents cases corresponded to attempted suicide. Fifty-two percent of the children were immigrants. Head injuries were the most common type of traumatism. The mortality rate was 12%. Eighty-two percent of the patients with a follow-up period of two years were leading an independent life. The independent predictors of mortality were the height of the fall, the Glasgow coma score and pediatric trauma index score upon admission, the presence of anemia, acidosis and hypotension upon admission, the need for vasoactive drugs, and the presence of severe head injury with the development of intracranial hypertension. Conclusions: Falls from heights occur mainly in unsupervised preschool children and teenagers attempting suicide. These patients have a high number of injuries, a high mortality rate, and important care needs. Most survivors are able to lead an independent life over the long term. Preventive measures should be implemented in risk populations.

Palavras-chave : Multiple trauma; Accidental falls; Falls from heights; Cranial trauma; Falls from buildings.

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