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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-7

Epidemiology of workplace-related fall from height and cost of trauma care in Qatar


1 Department of Surgery, Section of Trauma Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Hofstra North Shore, Lij School of Medicine, New York, USA
3 Department of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical School; Clinical Research, Section of Trauma Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Qatar
4 Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Ayman El-Menyar
Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha
Qatar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.109408

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Background: This study was designed to identify the incidence, injury patterns, and actual medical costs of occupational-related falls in Qatar, in order to provide a reference for establishing fall prevention guidelines and recommendations. Settings and Design: Retrospective database registry review in Level 1 Trauma Center at Tertiary Hospital in Qatar. Materials and Methods: During a 12-month period between November 1 st 2007 and October 31 st 2008, construction workers who fell from height were enrolled. A database was designed to characterize demographics, injury severity score (ISS), total hospital length of stay, resource utilization, and cost of care. Statistical Analysis: Data were presented as proportions, mean ± standard deviation or median and range as appropriate. In addition, case fatality rate and cost analysis were obtained from the Biostatistics and finance departments of the same hospital. Results: There were 315 fall-related injuries, of which 298 were workplace related. The majority (97%) were male immigrants with mean age of 33 ± 11 years. The most common injuries were to the spine, head, and chest. Mean ISS was 16.4 ± 10. There was total of 29 deaths (17 pre-hospital and 12 in-hospital deaths) for a case fatality rate of 8.6%. Mean cost of care (rounded figures) included pre-hospital services Emergency Medical Services (EMS), trauma resuscitation room, radiology and imaging, operating room, intensive care unit care, hospital ward care, rehabilitation services, and total cost (123, 82, 105, 130, 496, 3048,434, and 4418 thousand United States Dollars (USD), respectively). Mean cost of care per admitted patient was approximately 16,000 USD. Conclusions: Falling from height at a construction site is a common cause of trauma that poses a significant financial burden on the health care system. Injury prevention efforts are warranted along with strict regulation and enforcement of occupational laws.


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