Patterns of injuries in children who fall from a Height as seen at Kenyatta National Hospital

  • D Kihiko
  • VM Mutiso
  • JG Kiboi


Objective: To describe injuries and outcomes among children who fall from a height Design: Prospective, convenience hospital based study. Setting: Paediatric surgical wards of Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, from November 2006 to February 2007. Subjects: Children aged 1-13 years who sustained injuries after failing from any height. Results: Eighty children were recruited. There were 61 male (76%) and 19 female (24%), with an age range 1-13 years. Most injuries occurred at home (78.75%) after falling from buildings (33.75%), and were of mild-to-moderate severity. 13.4% sustained external haemorrhage, 16.5% sustained facial injuries, 25.2% sustained CNS injuries, 43.3% sustained various fractures, and 1.6% sustained abdominal trauma. The head and musculoskeletal systems were the most likely regions to be injured. The most common diagnoses were supracondylar fracture of humerus and mild head injury. No thoracic or pelvic fractures were recorded. Recovery was good in most instances. Conclusion: Most children who sustain injuries after a fall from height do so after falling from a building. The most common types of injuries sustained were to the head and distal limbs, especially fractures. They were mostly of mild-moderate severity and recovery usually complete.

East African Medical Journal Vol. 87 No. 8 August 2010

Author Biographies

D Kihiko
Surgeon, Kitui District Hospital, P.O. Box 1121-00900, Kiambu
VM Mutiso
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Lecturer, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19676-00202, Nairobi
JG Kiboi
Consultant Neurosurgeon and Lecturer, Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X