• Suicide Attempts from Height and Injury Patterns: An Analysis of 64 Cases

    Suicide Attempts from Height and Injury Patterns: An Analysis of 64 Cases

    By Stamatios A. Papadakis, Dimitrios Pallis, Spyridon Galanakos, Konstantinos Kateros, Grigorios Leon, George Machairas and George Sapkas

    This chapter was published in the book on September 2020, pages 73 – 88

    Neurological and Mental Disorders

    Edited by Kaneez Fatima Shad

    University of Technology Sydney

    Kamil Hakan Dogan

    Selçuk University

    Abstract

    Falls from height are a common cause of death and disability. A majority of free falls occur accidentally and only a minority result from suicidal behaviour. Adolescents in many countries show high rates of suicide attempts and their repetition is a common feature. We describe the demographic characteristics of these patients, their psychiatric diagnosis at the time of the attempt and the injury patterns. We present 64 patients who sustained injuries as a result of a fall from height. They were divided into those without mental disorders (n = 32, group I) and those with mental disorders (n = 32, group II). The mean height from which the fall occurred was 5.4 m (range, 3–25 m). The mean injury severity score was 19 (range, 6–58) for all fall victims. Upper extremity fractures were found in 37 patients, while pelvic and lower extremity fractures were found in 198 cases. Spinal fractures were noted in 32 patients. Head injuries were revealed by CT scan in 16 patients. Patients following a suicidal high fall mostly had lower limb fractures, pelvis fractures, spinal fractures and head injuries.

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