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Journal Article

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Journal of the American Geriatrics Society





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OBJECTIVES: To describe the seriously injured adult population aged 65 and older; compare the differences in injury characteristics and outcomes in three subgroups aged 65 to 74, 75 to 84, and 85 and older; and identify predictors of death, complications, and hospital discharge destination.

DESIGN: Retrospective secondary analysis of data from the Queensland Trauma Registry (QTR) using all patients aged 65 and older admitted from 2003 through 2006.

SETTING: Data from 15 regional and tertiary hospitals throughout Queensland, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS: Six thousand sixty-nine patients: 2,291 (37.7%) aged 65 to 74, 2,265 (37.3%) aged 75 to 84, and 1,513 (24.9%) aged 85 and older.

MEASUREMENTS: Outcome variables included mortality, complications, and discharge destination (usual residence, rehabilitation, nursing home, convalescence). Predictive factors incorporated demographic details, injury characteristics, and acute care factors.

RESULTS: Hospital survival was 95.0%, with a median length of hospital stay of 8 days (interquartile range 5–15), and 33.8% of cases with a major injury developed a complication. Predictors of death included older age, male sex, admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), greater Injury Severity Score (ISS), injury caused by a fall, and two or more injuries; those who had surgery were less likely to die. Predictors of complications included ICU admission, older age, longer hospital stay, and two or more injuries. Predictors of discharge to a nursing home included older age, greater ISS, longer hospital stay, and injury caused by a fall, among others.

CONCLUSION: Older adults with severe injuries are at risk of poor outcomes. These findings suggest opportunities for improving geriatric trauma care that could lead to better outcomes.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Aitkin, L.M., Burmeister, E., Lang, J., Chaboyer, W., & Richmond, T.S. (2010). Characteristics and outcomes of injured older adults following hospital admission. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 58(3), 442-449. PMID: 20163484, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


older adults, serious injury, outcomes, mortality, complications, discharge placement

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Nursing Commons



Date Posted: 22 May 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.