Injuries Due to Falls in Urban Buses: 100 Consecutive Cases
Ron Bachar, David Aladgem, Jacky Sarov, Patrick Sorkine, Oded Szold, Pinchas Halpern
Dept. of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Unit, Tel Aviv-Sourasky Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
We reviewed the charts of 100 consecutive emergency department (ED) cases of injuries in public buses (not due to actual traffic accidents) seen during 7 months in 1995. There were 29 males and 71 females with a mean age of 55.6-21.4 years, median 60, and range 13-91. 92 were discharged home directly from the ED. 3 were admitted to general surgical wards, and 1 each to the orthopedic, medical and neurosurgical wards, while 2 soldiers were sent for observation to a military clinic.
There were 28 spinal column, 27 head and 25 chest injuries; 1 patient died. There were no significant differences in admissions during the months of the year. 58% of injuries occurred during normal working hours, with a peak incidence at about 1000 hrs. The most common cause was falling while standing, due to sudden acceleration/deceleration or sharp turns.
There are 1900 buses in Tel Aviv which carry 1.1 million passengers daily and most of which are capable of significant acceleration. A high proportion of passengers travel standing, and elderly passengers are more liable to fall when the bus accelerates, decelerates or turns. We calculate a potential national yearly bus injury toll from falls of more than 1000, which often result in significant morbidity and even mortality. A national survey is now being planned.