Author(s): Baker SP, Brady JE, Shanahan DF, Li G
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Information about injuries sustained by survivors of airplane crashes is scant, although some information is available on fatal aviation-related injuries. Objectives of this study were to explore the patterns of aviation-related injuries admitted to U.S. hospitals and relate them to aviation deaths in the same period. METHODS: The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) contains information for approximately 20\% of all hospital admissions in the United States each year. We identified patients in the HCUP NIS who were hospitalized during 2000-2005 for aviation-related injuries based on the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, codes E840-E844. Injury patterns were also examined in relation to information from multiple-cause-of-death public-use data files 2000-2005. RESULTS: Nationally, an estimated 6080 patients in 6 yr, or 1013 admissions annually (95\% confidence interval 894-1133), were hospitalized for aviation-related injuries, based on 1246 patients in the sample. The average hospital stay was 6.3 d and 2\% died in hospital. Occupants of non-commercial aircraft accounted for 32\% of patients, parachutists for 29\%; occupants of commercial aircraft and of unpowered aircraft each constituted 11\%. Lower-limb fracture was the most common injury in each category, constituting 27\% of the total, followed by head injury (11\%), open wound (10\%), upper extremity fracture, and internal injury (9\%). Among fatalities, head injury (38\%) was most prominent. An average of 753 deaths occurred annually; for each death there were 1.3 hospitalizations. CONCLUSIONS: Aviation-related injuries result in approximately 1000 hospitalizations each year in the United States, with an in-hospital mortality rate of 2\%. The most common injury sustained by aviation crash survivors is lower-limb fracture.
This article was published in Aviat Space Environ Med
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics