1. Cardozo-Stolberg, Sara MHA, RN, TCRN
  2. Szydziak, Elisa MS
  3. Angus, L. D. George MD, MPH, FACS
  4. Blake, Rodrigo MD
  5. Marsden, Daniel MD
  6. Venkatesh, Sinchana
  7. Mon, Nwe Oo MPH


BACKGROUND: Trauma centers target injury prevention efforts based on trauma registry and local epidemiological data. Identifying geographic patterns of injury through geospatial mapping has emerged as a technology to help identify at-risk individuals. Yet, the feasibility of using spatial analysis to target injury prevention efforts remains unknown.


OBJECTIVE: This study aims to demonstrate the use of geospatial mapping of older adult ground-level falls to target injury prevention efforts.


METHODS: This retrospective cohort analysis of ground-level falls among older adults was conducted from 2017 to 2020 at a Level I trauma center and safety net hospital. Trauma admissions, U.S. census median income, Hispanic percentage, and population density by zip codes were combined to create choropleth and heat maps to identify injury hot spots to target fall prevention classes.


RESULTS: A total of 5,629 patients were reviewed, of which 3,002 (53%) were fall cases. Low-level falls (<10 ft) accounted for 2,224 cases; 1,449 were among older adults centered around the study hospital. Ground-level falls accounted for 1,663 patients, of whom 1,182 were older adults clustering around senior housing, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. As a result, our fall prevention classes are now targeted at these newly identified locations.


CONCLUSION: Geospatial analysis provided powerful visualization of fall injury locations to target our fall prevention efforts. Geospatial analysis is a feasible tool for trauma centers to guide injury prevention strategies that effectively target the populations most in need.