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.
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