Health care and socioeconomic impact of falls in the elderly

Jeffrey J. Siracuse*, David D. Odell, Stephen P. Gondek, Stephen R. Odom, Ekkehard M. Kasper, Carl J. Hauser, Donald W. Moorman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Background: Elderly falls are associated with long hospital stays, major morbidity, and mortality. We sought to examine the fate of patients <75 years of age admitted after falls. Methods: We reviewed all fall admissions in 2008. Causes, comorbidities, injuries, procedures, mortality, readmission, and costs were analyzed. Results: Seven hundred eight patients <75 years old were admitted after a fall, with 89% being simple falls. Short-term mortality was 6%. Male sex, atrial fibrillation, acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure (CHF), intracranial hemorrhage, hospital-acquired pneumonia, trigger events, Clostridium difficile, and intubation were predictors of death (P <.05). Thirty-day readmission occurred in 14%; CHF, craniotomy, and acute renal failure were predictive. The median cost of hospitalization was $11,000 with cardiac disease, anemia, major orthopedic and neurosurgical procedures, pneumonia, and intubation as predictive. Conclusions: Simple falls in the elderly have high morbidity, mortality, and costs. Methodologies for prevention are warranted and should be studied intensively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-338
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Costs
  • Elderly
  • Falls
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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