Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-dc8c957cd-ntdpv Total loading time: 1.505 Render date: 2022-01-27T06:49:03.417Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Book contents

Chapter 5 - Fatal and Non-fatal Accidents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 July 2020

Kim A. Collins
LifePoint Inc, South Carolina
Roger W. Byard
University of Adelaide
Get access


Accidents occur more frequently as we age. This may be a result of a wide variety of factors, but what distinguishes them from those of a fit, younger population is that the majority are related to physiological, physical, or psychological deterioration, often enhanced by pharmacological factors. Accidents in the elderly may result in both fatal and non-fatal injury.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019) World Population Prospects 2019. Online edition. Scholar
Dinh, MM, McNamara, K, Bein, KJ, et al. Effect of the elderly and increasing injury severity on acute hospital resource utilization in a cohort of inner city trauma patients. ANZ J Surg 2013; 83(1–2): 60–4. DOI:10.1111/j.1445-2197.2012.06177.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reinoso, H, McCaffrey, RG, Taylor, DWM. Mitigating fall risk: A community fall reduction program. Geriatr Nurs 2018; 39(2): 199203. DOI:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2017.08.014.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Oyetunji, TA, Ong’uti, SK, Bolorunduro, OB, Gonzalez, DO, Cornwell, EE, Haider, AH. Epidemiologic trend in elderly domestic injury. J Surg Res 2012; 173(2): 206–11. DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2011.05.003.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Naraynsingh, R, Sammy, I, Paul, JF, Nunes, P. Trauma in the elderly in Trinidad and Tobago: a cross-sectional study. Eur J Emerg Med 2015; 22(3): 219–21. DOI:10.1097/MEJ.0000000000000196.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cirera, E, Pérez, K, Santamariña-Rubio, E, Novoa, AM, Olabarria, M. Incidence trends of injury among the elderly in Spain, 2000–2010. Inj Prev 2014; 20(6): 401–7. DOI:10.1136/injuryprev-2014-041199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chien, WC, Chung, CH, Lai, CH, Chou, CH. A retrospective population-based study of injury types among elderly in Taiwan. Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot 2014; 21(1): 3–8. DOI:10.1080/17457300.2012.717084.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gowing, R, Jain, MK. Injury patterns and outcomes associated with elderly trauma victims in Kingston, Ontario. Can J Surg 2007; 50(6):437–44.Google ScholarPubMed
Curtis, KA, Mitchell, RJ, Chong, SS, et al. Injury trends and mortality in adult patients with major trauma in New South Wales. Med J Aust 2012; 197(4): 233–7.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Curtis, K, Chan, DL, Lam, MK, et al. The injury profile and acute treatment costs of major trauma in older people in New South Wales. Australas J Ageing 2014; 33(4): 264–70. DOI:10.1111/ajag.12059.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fairfax, LM, Hsee, L, Civil, I. An ageing trauma population: The Auckland experience. N Z Med J 2015; 128(1414): 3643.Google ScholarPubMed
Rockwood, K, Song, X, MacKnight, C, et al. A global clinical measure of fitness and frailty in elderly people. CMAJ 2005; 173(5): 489–95.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rosen, E, Sander, U. Pedestrian fatality risk as a function of car impact speed. Accid Anal Prev 2009; 41: 536–54CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bergland, A, Wyller, TB. Risk factors for serious fall related injury in elderly women living at home. Inj Prev 2004; 10(5): 308–13.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ekeh, AP, Parikh, PP, Walusimbi, M, Woods, RJ, Hawk, A, McCarthy, MC. The prevalence of positive drug and alcohol screens in elderly trauma patients. Subst Abus 2014; 35(1): 51–5. DOI:10.1080/08897077.2013.797539.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Inouye, SK, Studenski, S, Tinetti, ME, Kuchel, GA. Geriatric syndromes: clinical, research, and policy implications of a core geriatric concept. J Am Geriatr Soc 2007; 55(5): 780–91.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Larson, LM, Sliter, R, Helmer, SD, Reyes, J, Crawford, G, Haan, JM. Outcomes in elderly fall victims: what happens after hospital discharge? Am J Surg 2016; 212(6): 1106–14. DOI:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2016.09.009.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Evans, D, Pester, J, Vera, L, Jeanmonod, D, Jeanmonod, R. Elderly fall patients triaged to the trauma bay: age, injury patterns, and mortality risk. Am J Emerg Med 2015; 33(11): 1635–8. DOI:10.1016/j.ajem.2015.07.044.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Spaniolas, K, Cheng, JD, Gestring, ML, Sangosanya, A, Stassen, NA, Bankey, PE. Ground level falls are associated with significant mortality in elderly patients. J Trauma 2010; 69(4): 821–5. DOI:10.1097/TA.0b013e3181efc6c6.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Al-Qamachi, LH, Laverick, S, Jones, DC. A clinico-demographic analysis of maxillofacial trauma in the elderly. Gerodontology 2012; 29(2): e147–9. DOI:10.1111/j.1741-2358.2010.00431.x.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hwang, K, Huan, F, Hwang, PJ. Comparison of facial trauma in late middle age (55–64 years) and old age (older than 65 years). J Craniofac Surg 2013; 24(3): 909–13. DOI:10.1097/SCS.0b013e318287d0b9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sheng, I, Bauza, A, Langer, P, Zarbin, M, Bhagat, N. A 10-year review of open-globe trauma in elderly patients at an urban hospital. Retina 2015; 35(1): 105–10. DOI:10.1097/IAE.0000000000000261.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gustavsson, J, Bonander, C, Andersson, R, Nilson, F. Investigating the fall-injury reducing effect of impact absorbing flooring among female nursing home residents: initial results. Inj Prev 2015; 21(5): 320–4. DOI:10.1136/injuryprev-2014-041468.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bonander, C, Gustavsson, J, Nilson, F. Can the provision of a home help service for the elderly population reduce the incidence of fall-related injuries? A quasi-experimental study of the community-level effects on hospital admissions in Swedish municipalities. Inj Prev 2016; 22(6): 412–19. DOI:10.1136/injuryprev-2015-041848.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boltz, MM, Podany, AB, Hollenbeak, CS, Armen, SB. Injuries and outcomes associated with traumatic falls in the elderly population on oral anticoagulant therapy. Injury 2015; 46(9): 1765–71. DOI:10.1016/j.injury.2015.06.013.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Adams, SD, Holcomb, JB. Geriatric trauma. Curr Opin Crit Care 2015; 21(6): 520–6. DOI:10.1097/MCC.0000000000000246.Google ScholarPubMed
Spence, MM, Shin, PJ, Lee, EA, Gibbs, NE. Risk of injury associated with skeletal muscle relaxant use in older adults. Ann Pharmacother 2013; 47(7–8): 993–8. DOI:10.1345/aph.1R735.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hohmann, N, Hohmann, L, Kruse, M. The impact of combined use of fall-risk medications and antithrombotics on injury severity and intracranial hemorrhage among older trauma patients. Geriatr Nurs 2014; 35(1): 20–5. DOI:10.1016/j.gerinurse.2013.09.001.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Toomey, A, Friedman, L. Mortality in cancer patients after a fall-related injury: The impact of cancer spread and type. Injury 2014; 45(11): 1710–6. DOI:10.1016/j.injury.2014.03.008.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jou, RC, Hensher, DA, Chen, TY, Chao, MC. Hospitalisation costs and duration of elderly motorcyclists’ non-fatality crashes in Taiwan. Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot 2013; 20(2): 158–68. DOI:10.1080/17457300.2012.720579.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Radjou, AN, Kumar, SM. Epidemiological and clinical profile of fatality in vulnerable road users at a high volume trauma center. J Emerg Trauma Shock 2018; 11(4): 282–7. DOI:10.4103/JETS.JETS_55_17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hui, T, Avital, I, Soukiasian, H, Margulies, DR, Shabot, MM. Intensive care unit outcome of vehicle-related injury in elderly trauma patients. Am Surg 2002; 68(12): 1111–4.Google ScholarPubMed
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US Department of Transportation. Fatal Analysis Reporting System Data, 2017 Annual Report. Scholar
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015) WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. (accessed October 18, 2019).Google Scholar
Beck, LF, Dellinger, AM, O’Neil, ME. Motor vehicle crash injury rates by mode of travel, United States: using exposure-based methods to quantify differences. Am J Epidemiol 2007; 166: 212–18.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Siram, SM, Sonaike, V, Bolorunduro, OB, et al. Does the pattern of injury in elderly pedestrian trauma mirror that of the younger pedestrian? J Surg Res 2011; 167(1): 14–8. DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2010.10.007.Google Scholar
Niebuhr, T, Junge, M, Rosén, E. Pedestrian injury risk and the effect of age. Accid Anal Prev 2016; 86: 121–8. DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2015.10.026.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rebollo-Soria, MC, Arregui-Dalmases, C, Sánchez-Molina, D, Velázquez-Ameijide, J, Galtés, I. Injury pattern in lethal motorbikes-pedestrian collisions, in the area of Barcelona, Spain. J Forensic Leg Med 2016; 43: 80–4. DOI:10.1016/j.jflm.2016.07.009.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gyllencreutz, L, Björnstig, J, Rolfsman, E, Saveman, BI. Outdoor pedestrian fall-related injuries among Swedish senior citizens: injuries and preventive strategies. Scand J Caring Sci 2015; 29(2): 225–33. DOI:10.1111/scs.12153.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kim, SH. Risk factors for severe injury following indoor and outdoor falls in geriatric patients. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2016; 62: 7582. DOI:10.1016/j.archger.2015.10.003.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kitching, FA, Ozanne-Smith, J Gibson, K, Clapperton, A, Cassell, E. Deaths of older Australians related to their use of motorised mobility scooters. Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot 2016; 23(4): 346–50.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Giebułtowicz, J, Rużycka, M, Wroczyński, P, Purser, DA, Stec, AA.Analysis of fire deaths in Poland and influence of smoke toxicity. Forensic Sci Int 2017; 277: 7787. DOI:10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.05.018.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Eggert, E, Huss, F. Medical and biological factors affecting mortality in elderly residential fire victims: a narrative review of the literature. Scars Burn Heal 2017; 3: 2059513117707686. DOI:10.1177/2059513117707686.Google ScholarPubMed
Elder, AT, Squires, T, Busuttil, A. Fire fatalities in elderly people. Age Ageing 1996; 25(3): 214–6.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ward, J, Phillips, G, Radotra, I, et al. Frailty: an independent predictor of burns mortality following in-patient admission. Burns 2018; 44(8): 1895–902. DOI:10.1016/j.burns.2018.09.022.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Budnick, LD, Ross, DA. Bathtub-related drownings in the United States, 1979–81. Am J Public Health 1985; 75(6): 630–3.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kibayashi, K, Shimada, R, Nakao, K. Temporal and regional variations in accidental deaths of elderly people in Japan. Med Sci Law 2013; 53(3): 172–6. DOI:10.1177/0025802412473596.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Suzuki, H, Hikiji, W, Tanifuji, T, Abe, N, Fukunaga, T. Characteristics of sudden bath-related death investigated by medical examiners in Tokyo, Japan. J Epidemiol 2015; 25(2): 126–32. DOI:10.2188/jea.JE20140068.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Matar, E, Lewis, SJ. REM sleep behaviour disorder: not just a bad dream. Med J Aust 2017; 207(6): 262–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
St Louis, EK, Boeve, AR, Boeve, BF. REM sleep behavior disorder in Parkinson’s disease and other synucleinopathies. Mov Disord 2017; 32(5): 645–58. DOI:10.1002/mds.27018.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats