• Heading for a fall? Management of head injury in infants.

      Williamson, M; Keenan, P; Kuan, S; McKay, M; The Children's University Hospital, Temple St, Dublin 1. williamson2@gmail.com (2010-09)
      Head injury is one of the commonest reasons for infants (< 1 year) to attend the Emergency Department (ED). Clinical management varies considerably and concern about non accidental injury results in a high admission rate in some hospitals. Information was obtained on 103 children under one year of age presenting to the ED with head injury in a prospective study. The average age was 6.7 months and 57% of patients were male. Twenty eight babies had skull x rays with 1 skull fracture diagnosed. None required CT brain scan. Ninety eight (94%) were discharged home from the ED. There were no unplanned returns, readmissions or adverse events. The incidence of traumatic brain injury in children under one year of age presenting with head injury is low and the majority can be safely discharged home.
    • Hospitalisations due to falls in older persons.

      Carey, D; Laffoy, Marie; Department of Public Health, HSE Eastern Region, Dr Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8. deirdre.carey1@mailf.hse.ie (2005-06)
      This paper describes hospitalisations due to falls among people aged 65 years and over resident in the Eastern Region of Ireland. Of the 2,029 hospitalisations recorded for 2002, 78% were female and 68% were aged 75 years and over. Fractures accounted for 1,697 or 84% of cases with nearly half of them (841) sustained to the hip. Females were more likely to have a limb fracture whereas males were more likely to have a head injury. The total inpatient costs of the 2,029 hospitalisations were estimated at 10.6 million euros. Hip fractures were the costliest injuries as they accounted for 7.4 million euros (70%) of inpatient costs. There are also substantial additional costs implications for hip fractures as they constituted the majority (56%) of cases transferred to nursing/convalescent homes or long-stay health facilities. In keeping with an ageing population, the problem of injuries in older people is likely to increase over time and as falls are the dominant cause of those injuries, all acute and long-stay health facilities need to develop and implement fall prevention strategies for older people.