〈Background〉 In Japan, emergency departments (ED) receive a large proportion of elderly patients each year. As such, injuries in the elderly are a common reason for presentation to the ED. Knowledge about the characteristics of injuries presenting to the ED would be invaluable in devising strategies to prevent injury in the elderly. 〈Objective〉 To analyze the characteristics of injuries in the elderly presenting to the ED and compare them with those of the younger population. 〈Setting〉 The ED at Keio University Hospital, a large inner city teaching hospital located in Tokyo. 〈Method〉 A retrospective analysis of data extracted from the ED database of the Keio University Hospital. Information regarding patients aged 65 years or above presenting with injury was analyzed and compared with those aged less than 65 years. Prehospital triage by emergency personnel was adopted as the severity of patients, namely "life-threatening" or "non life-threatening". 〈Results〉 20% of all ED presentations of elderly patients were injury related compared to 39% of non-elderly. Compared to the non-elderly, elderly patients presenting to the ED with injury were more likely to be female, sustained injury from trauma unrelated to motor vehicle accidents (MYA) and requiring hospital admission as a result of "non life-threatening" injuries. They were less likely to have injuries from MVA or burns. The number of "life-threatening" injury cases and mortality in both groups were similar. There was evidence that the number of ED presentations relating to injury is increasing in the elderly population. 〈Conclusion〉 Elderly injury patients are a distinct group with distinctive demographics, mechanism of injury and outcomes. This information would be useful in the planning of injury prevention programs, with particular emphasis on elderly females and MVA-unrelated trauma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas