Fatal Falls from Height in Taiwan

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Abstract

This study conducts an investigation of fatal falls from height, examines gender differences, and compares our findings with those of Western countries. We review deaths in Taiwan caused by falls from height that underwent forensic autopsy from 1994 to 2010. Among the examined cases, 182 were suicide, 156 were accidents, and 18 were homicides. Men who fell from greater heights had a lower probability of fatal head trauma (p = 0.045), and women exhibited a lower fatal head trauma rate when falling from heights of between 10 and 25 m in accident group (p = 0.003). There was no significant difference between cases of falling from greater and lower heights within the suicide group (p = 0.834). Psychiatric illness was only reported in 20.3% and 28.8% cases in suicide and accident groups. Only in male cases was the use of psychotropic substances higher in the suicide groups than in the accident groups (p = 0.047).

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