The impact of age on major orthopaedic trauma: AN ANALYSIS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM TRAUMA AUDIT RESEARCH NETWORK DATABASE

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Abstract

Aims

To compare the early management and mortality of older patients sustaining major orthopaedic trauma with that of a younger population with similar injuries.

Patients and Methods

The Trauma Audit Research Network database was reviewed to identify eligible patients admitted between April 2012 and June 2015. Distribution and severity of injury, interventions, comorbidity, critical care episodes and mortality were recorded. The population was divided into young (64 years or younger) and older (65 years and older) patients.

Results

Of 142 765 adults sustaining major trauma, 72 942 (51.09 %) had long bone or pelvic fractures and 45.81% of these were > 65 years old. Road traffic collision was the most common mechanism in the young (40.4%) and, in older people, fall from standing height (80.4%) predominated. The 30 day mortality in older patients with fractures is greater (6.8%versus2.5%), although critical care episodes are more common in the young (18.2%versus9.7%). Older people are less likely to be admitted to critical care beds and are often managed in isolation by surgeons. Orthopaedic surgery is the most common admitting and operating specialty and, in older people, fracture surgery accounted for 82.1% of procedures.

Conclusion

Orthopaedic trauma in older people is associated with mortality that is significantly greater than for similar fractures in the young. As with the hip fracture population, major trauma in the elderly is a growing concern which highlights the need for a review of admission pathways and shared orthogeriatric care models.

Conclusion

Cite this article:Bone Joint J2017;99-B:1677-80.

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