Effects of co-morbid disease and drug consumption on trauma patients 65 years of age and older: A university emergency department experience [Altmiş beş yaş ve üstü travmali hastalarda yandaş hastalik ve ilaç kullaniminin travma üzerine etkileri: Üniversite acil servis deneyimi]
BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to evaluate the causes and demographics of trauma patients 65 years of age and older, and also the effects of co-morbidities and drug use on trauma. METHODS: This study was performed in Medicine Faculty of Yeditepe University Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine Outpatients Clinic between January 2005 - February 2006. Ninety-one trauma patients (48 males [52.7%], 43 females [47.3%]; mean age 73±5.42; range 65 to 92 years) 65 years of age and older were included into the study. Age, gender, trauma causes, injury types, co-morbidities, drug consumption and injury severity scores were recorded onto the study form. RESULTS: Fifty-seven (62.6%) patients were admitted to the emergency department because of low-energy fall, 13 patients (14.3%) for high-energy falls, 6 patients (6.6%) for low-energy motor vehicle crush, and 14 patients (15.4%) for high-energy motor vehicle crush. Hypertension was significantly more frequent in falls than the other trauma mechanisms (p=0.003). There was a higher rate of femur fracture in low-energy falls than the others (p=0.026). However, the rate of vertebral fracture was higher in high-energy falls (p=0.037). Soft tissue injuries were seen most often in low-energy motor vehicle crush injuries (p=0.01) while rib fractures were seen most frequently in high-energy motor vehicle crush injury (p<0.01). CONCLUSION: Acute or chronic disease and drug side effects may facilitate the exposure of elderly people to trauma. Drug consumption, co-morbid diseases and trauma causes should be taken into consideration during the evaluation of elderly trauma patients.