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Walking in your front door more dangerous than going outside - report

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More than half of serious injuries in Ireland are sustained from low falls of less than two metres.

And three quarters of these happen in people’s own homes, a new report revealed today.

The Major Trauma Audit (MTA) National Report focuses on the most severely injured patients in the Irish healthcare system.

It presents data from 5,429 patients across 26 trauma receiving hospitals in Ireland.

Dr Conor Deasy, Clinical Lead for Major Trauma Audit said: “Our audit shows that when it comes to major trauma, walking in the front door of your home can be more dangerous than walking out of your front door - the majority of injuries are being caused by falls at home.

"These are often preventable with many of the risks being in our control.

“Other findings show our system of trauma care in Ireland is sub-optimal - the best system is described in the Trauma System for Ireland Report published by the Department of Health in 2018.

The report reveals:

  • One in two of all major traumas occurred in the home.
  • Median age of major trauma patients was 62 years.
  • Some 20pc of patients required transfer to another hospital for ongoing care.

But many patients in the Irish setting continue to be brought to hospitals that do not have the services on site to manage their injuries.

Of the 273 patients who required a CT brain scan, 48pc received it within one hour. This is an increase of seven percentage points since 2017.

It highlights that 46pc of major trauma is sustained in patients over the age of 65 years. Older major trauma patients have more complex medical needs. This report shows that they do not receive the same level of response as younger patients with the same severity of injury and have considerably worse outcomes.

It also found:

  • Only 59pc of major trauma patients were discharged directly home following their hospital admission.
  • The highest proportion of deaths continues to be attributable to falls less than 2 m (59pc)

NOCA was established in 2012 to create sustainable clinical audit programmes at national level. NOCA enables those who manage and deliver healthcare to improve the quality of care through national clinical audit.

NOCA is funded by the Health Service Executive Quality Improvement Team, governed by an independent voluntary board and operationally supported by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

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