Fall of the elderly person is a public health problem. The objectives of our study were to evaluate the relevance of systematically performing in emergency a computed tomography (CT) scan for fall in the elderly person, to identify specific criteria predicting the appearance of lesions.
Material and methods
We performed a retrospective analysis of 500 consecutive patients aged 65 and over, who underwent an emergency head CT scan for fall from their height. Outcome at the end of the acute care, clinico-biological data and delays between trauma an d CT were collected, and crossed with a detection of head lesion on the CT scan.
Of 500 patients, 38 (7.6%) had traumatic lesions depicted on the CT scan and 267 (53.4%) were hospitalized after the CT scan. Three (0.6%) had been operated for urgent head surgery. Nine of the 38 (23.6%) patients with traumatic lesion returned home. Presence of a lesion depicted on the CT scan was not correlated with the orientation of the patient (P < 0.0001). Post-traumatic injury was significantly associated with male sex (RR = 2.19, P = 0.0217), consciousness impairment (RR = 1.56, P < 0.0001), focal neurological deficit (RR = 6.36, P = 0.0362) and past history of post-traumatic brain injury (RR = 7.17, P = 0.0027). Anticoagulant therapy was not associated with increased risk of traumatic lesions (P = 0.3315). ROC analysis determined that a 5-hours time-interval between head trauma and CT allowed optimal detection of lesions.
The systematic indication of an emergency head CT scan for fall in elderly patients presents a low diagnostic and therapeutic yield and is not relevant. Male sex, consciousness impairment, focal neurological deficit, past history of post-traumatic brain injury and time-interval between head trauma and CT are statistically related to the presence of lesions and should therefore be taken into account.El texto completo de este artículo está disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Traumatic brain injury, X-ray computed tomography, Emergency, Geriatric, Relevance
Vol 47 - N° 1P. 54-58 - février 2020 Regresar al número
Bienvenido a EM-consulte, la referencia de los profesionales de la salud.
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