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Bathroom-Related Craniofacial Trauma Among the Elderly


A recent Americal medical research article found that just under 10% of cranial facial truam aincidents were bathroom related. This is the first comprehensive and focused national analysis of bathroom-related cranio-facial trauma among elderly patients who present to the Emergenct Department.

Females comprised the majority (60.9%) of patients, and most patients were in their 80s and most were temporary loss of consciousness caused by or related to a sudden fall in blood pressure. This is unsurprising as it has long been known that there are more females than males in this age group.
Toilets facilitated a greater proportion of facial insults and were more likely to require hospital admission;the most common mechanism was “falling off. Falling off is most likely the result ofmicturition (or post-micturition) syncope. In other words, fainting during or, more commonly, immediately after urination/defaecation due to a severe drop in blood pressure. Micturition syncope is medically most reported by older men and usually occurs at night after a deep sleep.
Showers contributed a majority of head injuries and had a lower median age than toilet injuries. THis factor is likely due to faiting, slips, trios and falls in a hard surface area where soap dishes and the like can be particularly hazardous.

The authors concluded that bathroom falls result in a significant proportion of elderly traumatic injury. The trends offer the opportunity for targeted preventative measures to decrease the occurrence of these events.


Hanba, C., et al. (2016). "Forgetful but not forgotten: Bathroom‐related craniofacial trauma among the elderly." The Laryngoscope. DOI: 10.1002/lary.26111 HTML

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