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A survey of injuries sustained in falls from ladders among patients at an inner-city trauma centre

Michael M Dinh, Helen L Stark and Kendall J Bein
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (5): 314-315. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10018
Published online: 19 March 2012

To the Editor: Recent media reports related to Ian “Molly” Meldrum1 are a timely reminder, once again, of the risk of physical injury posed by a fall from a ladder. We carried out a survey of injuries sustained in falls from ladders among patients presenting to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH), an inner-Sydney major trauma centre, between January 2009 and December 2011. We linked data from the hospital trauma registry with data from the New South Wales Department of Health Centre for Epidemiology and Research. The trauma registry routinely collects data on all injury-related admissions and trauma team activations. NSW Health provided data from a free-text search for the term “ladder” within the presenting problems, triage text and diagnoses in the electronic medical records of all patients who presented to the RPAH emergency department (ED) during the period studied. For comparison, we also constructed a survey of injuries sustained by pedestrians struck by a motor vehicle. We used trauma registry data, from a previous study of patients with such injuries, for 409 consecutive patients admitted during 2008–2010. The study was approved by the Sydney Local Health District Ethics Review Committee (RPAH zone).

  • Michael M Dinh
  • Helen L Stark
  • Kendall J Bein

  • Department of Trauma Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW.


Acknowledgements: 

Acknowledgement: We acknowledge Gosta Liljeqvist from the NSW Health Centre for Epidemiology and Research for data extraction and analysis.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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