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Falls from Heights While Clearing Snow in Akita Prefecture Yuji HATAKEYAMA 1 , Seietsu SENMA 1 , Yuichiro NARITA 1 , Seiya MIYAMOTO 1 , Moto KOBAYASHI 1 , Kana SASAKI 1 , Nobuhiro OBARA 2 , Yoichi SEINO 3 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nakadori General Hospital 2Disaster Prevention Division, Department of General Affairs, Akita Prefectural Office 3Akita City Fire Department Headquarters Keyword: 転落(falls) , 脊椎損傷(spinal injury) , 除雪(clearing snow) pp.1091-1094
Published Date 2013/11/25
DOI https://doi.org/10.11477/mf.1408102879
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 Background:Clearing snow from rooftops is a common activity in areas of heavy snow accumulation. Although it has been reported that fall from heights while clearing snow occasionally causes severe and fatal problems, there have been very few reports.

 Method:The study population consisted of 352 patients who fell from heights while clearing snow in Akita Prefecture and presented to the emergency department between December 2009 and March 2012. The patients' mean age was 63.5 years old (range:20-92 years old).

 Outcome:The largest proportion of the falls occurred in January (56.8%;200 patients). The most common region where the falls occurred was the inland part of the southern district, which accounted for 57.4% of the falls (202 patients). Individuals 65 years and older comprised 44.9% of the patients (158 patients). The most common mechanism of the injuries was a fall from a rooftop, which accounted for 63.4% of the falls (223 patients), and it was followed by a fall from a ladder (31.8%;112 patients). The most common site of the injuries was the spine injury (38.1%;134 patients), which was followed by the upper and lower extremities (26.4%;93 patients). Sixteen of the patients died.

 Conclusion:Patients were more likely to have fallen from heights while clearing snow on days on which there was greater than 10 cm of snow accumulation and when the average temperature was below freezing.


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