Aviation-Related Injury Morbidity and Mortality: Data from US Health Information Systems

Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.88). 12/2009; 80(12):1001-5. DOI: 10.3357/ASEM.2575.2009
Source: PubMed


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.
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.
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.
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.

Download full-text


Available from: Guohua Li, Oct 22, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A fatal accident is reported in which a small single-engine light airplane crashed. The airplane carried two persons in the front seats, both of whom possessed valid pilot certificates. Both victims were subject to autopsy, including post-mortem computed tomography scanning (PMCT) prior to the autopsy. The autopsies showed massive destruction to the bodies of the two victims but did not identify any signs of acute or chronic medical conditions that could explain loss of control of the airplane. PMCT, histological examination, and forensic chemical analysis also failed to identify an explanation for the crash. A detailed review of an airplane identical to the crashed airplane was performed in collaboration with the Danish Accident Investigation Board and the Danish National Police, National Centre of Forensic Services. The injuries were described using the abbreviated injury scale, the injury severity score, 3-dimensional reconstructions of the PMCT, and an injury pattern analysis. We describe how, on basis of these data, we reached a conclusion about which of the two victims was the most likely to have been in control of the airplane at the time of accident. Furthermore, we argue that all victims of fatal airplane crashes should be subject to forensic autopsy, including PMCT and forensic chemical analysis. The continuous accumulation of knowledge about injury patterns from "simple" accidents is the foundation for the correct analysis of "difficult" accidents.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Forensic Science Medicine and Pathology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Injuries in civil aviation can occur as a consequence of work-related accidents happening in airport. The ground crew can sustain slips, trips, falls, and machinery accidents. Most such accidents are observed when aircraft is departing. This clinical report describes a case of an airport ground assistant severely injured by a helicopter after the strike with a main rotor blade that was slowing after that the craft was landed and the engine was stopped, and reports surgical emergency treatment of life-threatening facial lesions.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · The Journal of craniofacial surgery
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: survival after an airplane disaster is rare. We describe the injuries of survivors of an airplane accident and present a common mechanism of trauma for victims. Descriptive data were gathered by interviews with patients, physical examination. Review of charts and patients X-ray films. Informations regarding the flight characteristics were obtained from Iran air safety board. All dead patients were clinically examined by legal medicine department. The suggested mechanism of trauma was established according to present knowledge of mechanism of fractures. From 105 passengers, 27 survived. There was no mortality during hospital course. Between dead passengers, lower extremity fractures were the most common followed by chest wall fractures. Among the survivors, neurosurgical help was needed only in one case for shunt application. Brain concussions and effusions and one hematoma managed conservatively. Two laparotomies were performed for one splenectomy and two hepatoraphy. One pelvic fracture and two femur fractures were occurred. Tibia fractures were the most common (17) followed by spine (14) fractures. Ten tibial fractures were open, and 15 were in distal third. All tibia fractures were fixed with IM locking nails or locking plates. Eight posterior instrumentations were applied for seven burst and two fracture-dislocations. In this landing accident, a combination of vertical loading along with deceleration force produced burst fractures of spine and distal leg fractures.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology
Show more