16.09.2020 | Original Article
Patterns and management of musculoskeletal injuries in attempted suicide by jumping from a height: a single, regional level I trauma center experience
Vincenzo Giordano, Fabrício Santos e Santos, Celso Prata, Ney Pecegueiro do Amaral
European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
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Suicide is a common cause of death in Brazil, with an overall increase of 62.5% during the last 30-year period. The study aims to determine overall patient characteristics and symptomatic indicators of complications among survivors.
In this retrospective cross-sectional study, we collected and analyzed clinical information of all patients aged > 10 years who presented to our hospital with a history of attempted suicide by jumping from a height in a 7-year period. Records were searched for primary demographic data, radiographs and CT scans were reviewed to determine injury characteristics, and records and operative notes were searched to look for symptomatic indicators of complications among survivors. Baseline demographics and the distribution on skeletal injuries were compared between the survivor and non-survivor patients using the Chi-squared for categorical variables and the Student’s t-test for continuous variables. Among survivors, univariate and multivariate analysis were performed to investigate independent risk factors of attempted suicide and complications.
A total of 222 patients attempted suicide by jumping from a height. At multivariate analysis, the middle-aged patient was the unique identified risk factor for suicide by jumping from a height. Overall mortality was 67.6%. The main independent cause for death was traumatic brain injury. Among survivors, there was a higher incidence of foot and ankle fractures, and pelvic ring injuries. The overall complication rate for survivor patients was 51.4%, with acute infection being the most prevalent complication. At multivariate analysis, middle-aged men, foot and ankle injuries, open pelvic injuries, and open fractures were identified as risk factors for acute complications.
Middle-aged people are at significant risk for attempting suicide by jumping from a height in Brazil, independently of gender, with 67.6% deaths. Traumatic brain injury, higher ISS, and more than 3 skeletal injuries are independent variables related to this fatal outcome. Acute complications occur in approximately 50% of survivors. Middle-aged men, foot and ankle injuries, open pelvic injuries, and open fractures are risk factors for complications.